Ranked welterweights Vicente Luque and Geoff Neal host the co-main event at UFC Vegas 59 on Saturday.
Luke is looking to shake off the loss to Berard Mohamed in April, while Neal is making his first appearance in 2022 after a split-decision victory over Santiago Ponzinibbio in December.
What came up in the co-main event was a very interesting, brutal fight, and Neil had arguably the best performance of his career.
Luque pushed forward early and Neal circled. Luke kicked first, and Neil hit back with his left hand. Luke moved on and a header was countered by Neil with his left hand. Luke then fired a combo, but Neal responded with a combo of his own, hurting the Brazilian and backing him.
Neil pressed the action, but Luke quickly recovered and he fired back. Luke misses a knee, and Neil hits back with another combination. Luque kept pushing forward, but Neal found another combination that pushed him back. Neil, who is now on offense, punched again, hurting Luke. Neil sensed his advantage and suppressed Luke, who seemed a little unstable under his feet. Luke is now more tentative, seemingly content to let the round end.
Jeff Neal started the second round looking to continue his momentum from the first, but Luke once again kept pushing forward and throwing combos. Luke kicked some leg and body kicks to keep Neil from throwing punches. Neil struggles to get closer and find his shot. Neil bypassed Luke’s kick and tried to land, but switched levels, shot down and brought Luke to the mat. However, Luke suddenly stood up, and after a while, the two separated. Neal clung to Luke and got a stinging combo; Luque fought back, but Neal got the better exchange. Back in the middle of the cage, the two continued to exchange, with Neil maintaining a slight advantage over the Brazilian to end the round.
With the gloves on, the third round begins. Luque opened up some kicks to the body again and Neal slipped away before he closed the range, swapping with a combo. Luke jumped on his knees again, and Neil slipped away from him. Neil landed on a solid left, followed by another who hurt Luke. Neil hurt Luke again and sent him back to the cage with his left hand. Facing the cage, Neil threw Luke back to his advantage with no fewer than six uppercuts that knocked him out, and the final blow brought him down on the mat to end the fight.
With the victory, Jeff Neal became the first to stop Vicente Luke from getting up. After the game, he called out Luke’s teammate Gilbert Burns.
Official result: Geoff Neal def. Vicente Luque Knockout (Punches), Round 3, 2:01