While Geoff Neal was quite competitive against Neil Magny at UFC on ESPN 24, he simply lacked the overall volume and cage command to get the job done against a crafty veteran opponent.
That resulted in a unanimous decision defeat on Saturday at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas — Neal’s second consecutive setback in the Octagon. The man known as “Handz of Steel” began his promotional tenure with five straight victories before being hospitalized and forced to pull out of a clash against Magny at UFC Fight Night 175 in August 2020. Since then, he has dropped back-to-back contests against Stephen Thompson and Magny.
In a post on his Instagram account, Neal said he probably needs to take some time away from the sport to allow his body to fully recover.
“Well there goes another one. Felt really good in the first round and the second one was close,” Neal said. “Even in defeat I'm still proud of this one as well. It was another honor to step in there with another crafty veteran in [Neil Magny]. I'm probably gonna take some time away and take care of my health a little bit.”
The Fortis MMA product acknowledged that he hasn’t been the same since that health scare last year, and he nearly pulled out of Saturday’s bout.
“My body hasn't been right since I got sepsis last year,” Neal said. “I’ve been dealing with off and on sickness and severe lack of energy since then. I almost pulled out of this fight last week because I was vomiting/diarrhea for [three] days and after having to rehydrate and replenish what my body lost I found myself sitting at 208 pounds exactly [one] week before weigh-ins.
“But I got issues, so I said f—k it and cut 37 pounds in a week anyway. Probably a super dangerous/stupid decision, but nothing great ever gets done trying to play it safe.”
Neal maintains a positive outlook regarding his UFC future, but his immediate plans involve some much needed rest and relaxation.
“Gonna go on my FIRST real vacation to Hawaii next week, come back, get some blood tests done to figure out what's going on with my body and I PROMISE you I will be back with a vengeance,” he wrote. “Thanks to all my coaches and teammates who helped my through this camp. And thanks again to [Neil Magny]. That was a solid veteran performance.”
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