Welcome to F4WOnline.com's live coverage of UFC on ESPN+ 41: Thompson vs. Neal, emanating from the UFC APEX in Las Vegas, Nevada.
The final UFC event of a tumultuous takes place at the site of many of the UFC's 2020 events, their headquarters at the UFC APEX in Las Vegas, and it features a 15-fight card with a welterweight main event pitting a former title challenger against a hungry rising prospect.
Former title challenger Stephen Thompson looks to halt the momentum of fast-rising prospect Geoff Neal in the five-round headline bout. It is the first fight for both men in 2020 as they've both had to recover from injuries or illness. Thompson is looking for his second straight win while Neal is looking to remain undefeated inside the Octagon and extend his overall seven-fight win streak.
The rest of the main card is stacked with great fights. In the co-main event, former UFC Featherweight Champion Jose Aldo looks to end a three-fight losing skid against Marlon Vera. Also on the main card is an exciting welterweight match-up between Michel Pereira and Khaos Williams, a bantamweight bout between former title challenger Marlon Moraes and Rob Font, and a heavyweight bout pitting Marcin Tybura against Greg Hardy in the main card opener.
The prelims have some interesting match-ups on them, including the featured prelim that sees former UFC Welterweight Champion Anthony Pettis squares off against Alex Morono. Also on the prelims is a women's bantamweight bout between Sijara Eubanks and Pannie Kianzad, a 195-pound catchweight bout as Deron Winn takes on Antonio Arroyo, and a women's flyweight fight that pits Gillian Robertson against Taila Santos.
Follow along with our live coverage of the event beginning at 4 p.m. Eastern time with preliminary action all the way thru the main card.
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> Christos Giagos (17-8, 3-4 UFC) vs. Carlton Minus (10-2 1 NC, 0-1 UFC)
Giagos with a leg kick early on. Giagos landed a right hand and immediately got a takedown and then took the back but they got to the feet. Giagos working hard for the takedown against the fence and gets it and is looking to set up an arm-triangle but lets go and is in full mount. Giagos lands some shots from the top and gets the back of Minus. Giagos with big right hands as he looks to set up the choke. Minus was able to scramble out to his feet. Giagos gets another takedown and looks to get the back as he moves to the mount. Giagos looking for the arm-triangle choke but lets go and lands from the top as the round ends. 10-8 Giagos.
They trade punches to start the second. Giagos just misses a right hand. Minus lands a high kick. Giagos with a right hand and then gets a takedown. Giagos moves to the mount. He is still controlling from the top. Giagos gets the back as they stand and they go back to the mat and he almost had a choke locked in but Minus escapes and Giagos gets to the mount. They get to their feet and trade at the end. 10-8 Giagos, 20-16 Giagos.
Giagos looking for the takedown at the start of the third but Minus was defending. Giagos takes Minus' back standing and then gets him to the mat. They get to their feet and Giagos still looking to get the takedown but they separated. They were trading and Giagos was looking tired. They traded at the end. Minus did land better towards the end. 10-9 Giagos, 30-25 Giagos.
Official Result- Christos Giagos def. Carlton Minus by unanimous decision (30-26, 29-27, 29-28)
> Jimmy Flick (15-5, 0-0 UFC) vs. Cody Durden (11-2-1, 0-0-1 UFC)
Flick lands a leg kick and Durden gets a takedown and has the back and was landing punches. Flick was able to escape and they stood and Durden maintained back control. They break. Durden lands a right hand and they trade leg kicks. They trade and Durden lands a knee and some uppercuts against the fence. Flick lands a head kick and Durden grabs the leg and they go to the mat as Flick has a flying triangle choke locked in. He has it in deep but Durden is defending. Flick gets it locked in better and Durden taps! What a finish by Flick in his UFC debut.
Official Result- Jimmy Flick def. Cody Durden by submission (flying triangle choke) at 3:18 of Round 1
> Tafon Nchukwi (4-0, 0-0 UFC) vs. Jamie Pickett (11-4, 0-0 UFC)
Nchukwi was pressuring early and landed some good shots. Nchukwi with a body kick. Pickett landed a leg kick as he was backing up. They clinch and Nchukwi with an elbow before they break. They clinch again but nothing happens. They clinch again and Nchukwi with some short knees and elbows before they break. Pickett ducks under some punches and looks for a takedown against the fence. He gets it after Nchukwi lands some body punches. They scramble up. Nchukwi with some knees before they break the clinch. Nchukwi with a combo and then a body kick against the fence. Pickett tries a takedown but Nchukwi defends and looks for a choke as he has the back on the mat. They stand and break and Nchukwi lands a kick on the exit. Pickett lands a left hand. Nchukwi with some punches and an elbow against the fence. They trade late and Nchukwi with a body kick. 10-9 Nchukwi.
They were trading to start the second and Nchukwi was slowing down. Nchukwi lands against the fence and lands some knees against the fence in the clinch. They break the clinch. They were trading and then clinched up again. They were trading and clinch again and Nchukwi lands some knees. They break and Pickett with some big punches as he has Nchukwi in trouble. Both men are showing signs of being tired. Nchukwi lands late. Close round. 10-9 Pickett, 19-19.
They checked on Pickett before the round due to an accidental headbutt landed late. They were trading and Nchukwi was landing. Nchukwi lands against the fence and they clinch and Nchukwi with some knees and an elbow. Nchukwi lands some good shots and they scramble for a moment but get to their feet still clinched. Nchukwi with some knees and then lands a head kick. Nchukwi lands a big knee and Pickett drops and Nchukwi landing punches from the back. Pickett able to survive and he does and they get up and break. Nchukwi landing as they circle around. Nchukwi with a heavy combo at the end. 10-9 Nchukwi, 29-28 Nchukwi.
Official Result- Tafon Nchukwi def. Jamie Pickett by unanimous decision (30-25, 30-26, 30-26)
> Gillian Robertson (#13, 9-4, 6-2 UFC) vs. Taila Santos (16-1, 1-1 UFC)
They clinch right away. Robertson grabs the arm as she gets Santos down and is looking for an armbar. Santos gets out. Robertson still trying to find a submission from the bottom. Santos working from the top, not landing a lot but maintaining the position and defending. Both ladies land on the ground. Santos with some elbows late. 10-9 Santos.
Santos gets a takedown and is in the guard of Robertson. Santos is landing from the top. Robertson looking for an arm from the bottom but Santos scrambles. They scramble and Santos gets an inverted triangle locked in and Robertson is bleeding and she manages to escape. Robertson ends up on top in the half-guard of Santos. Santos reverses to the top and is in side control. Santos lands from the top and has the back and lands some punches and now she gets in the guard of Robertson. Robertson lands an elbow from the bottom and then eats an elbow from Santos on top. 10-9 Santos, 20-18 Santos.
Santos goes for a takedown but Robertson defends and then Robertson grabs the neck and looks for a guillotine choke but Santos escapes and is now in the guard and lands from the top. Santos with some body punches from the top. Santos still landing and Robertson gets an armbar locked in and she's cranking on the arm. She doesn't quite have it locked in. Santos escapes and lands some hammerfists from the top. Santos in side control and lands some elbows. She gets the back right before the end of the fight. 10-9 Santos, 30-27 Santos.
Official Result- Taila Santos def. Gillian Robertson by unanimous decision (30-26, 30-26, 29-28)
> Deron Winn (6-2, 1-2 UFC) vs. Antonio Arroyo (9-3, 0-1 UFC)
Arroyo with a heavy kick to start. Winn with a leg kick. Arroyo with a leg kick as Winn comes in looking for a takedown against the fence. Winn gets the takedown but Arroyo gets right back to his feet. Winn gets another takedown. Arroyo gets up and they break. Winn gets a third takedown. Arroyo lands a punch from the bottom and Winn moves him more towards the center. Arroyo goes for a triangle but Winn escapes and they stand. Arroyo with a knee to the body. They each land a punch. Arroyo with a pair of jabs. Winn with a leg kick. Winn gets another takedown. Arroyo escapes and they stand. Arroyo with a big jumping front kick right to Winn's face. Winn gets a late takedown. 10-9 Arroyo.
Winn gets a takedown right away in the second. They scamble to their feet. Winn with a body kick followed by some right hands. Arroyo lands a knee as Winn steps in for a takedown. They break and then Winn gets a takedown but they get to their feet. They remain tied up and Winn gets the fight back down and has back control. Winn lands some punches from the back as they stand. They break. Arroyo looks very tired. Winn takes Arroyo down again even though Arroyo grabbed the fence. Winn in the guard of Arroyo and lands from the top. Winn with some body punches from the top. 10-9 Winn, 19-19.
Winn gets a takedown right away in the third and is working in the guard of Arroyo. Arroyo went for a heel hook but Winn escaped and they got to their feet. Winn got another takedown. They scramble as Arroyo tries to get out from the bottom but Winn retains the top position. They get to their feet. Arroyo tries a head kick but Winn defends. Arroyo with a leg kick and Winn lands a right hand. Winn gets another takedown. Arroyo with an upkick. They stand and Winn gets another takedown. Arroyo tries for a triangle and is landing upwards hammerfists as they stand. 10-9 Winn, 29-28 Winn.
Official Result- Deron Winn def. Antonio Arroyo by unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
> Sijara Eubanks (#13, 6-5, 4-3 UFC) vs. Pannie Kianzad (#14, 13-5, 2-2 UFC)
They trade early and Eubanks gets a takedown. Eubanks working from the top and lifts Kianzad up and brings her more towards the center of the mat. Eubanks working from the top and lands some elbows. Kianzad is working from the bottom but Eubanks maintaining top position. Kianzad was looking for an armbar from the bottom but Eubanks worked out of it and kept on the top and lands some right hands. Eubanks steps over to full mount and then gets the back of Kianzad at the end of the round. 10-9 Eubanks.
Eubanks going for a takedown early and they are clinched against the fence. Kianzad gets a brief takedown but they clinch as they stand. They trade and Kianzad gets the clinch against the fence and lands some knees. Kianzad has position against the fence and is landing body punches and foot stomps. Eubanks lands a knee as Kianzad was landing punches and then Eubanks gets a takedown. Kianzad looks for an armbar but Eubanks is defending. They scramble up and Kianzad pushes Eubanks against the fence and lands some knees. They break. Kianzad with a left hand. They trade punches. Eubanks ducks under a right hand from Kianzad and looks for a takedown against the fence but Kianzad fires some elbows as the round ends. 10-9 Kianzad, 19-19.
Kianzad lands two left hands to start the third. They clinch against the fence and Kianzad gets the better position. Eubanks lands a knee as Kianzad is applying pressure against the fence. They break. They trade and Kianzad landing with more volume. Eubanks lands a big right hand. Kianzad lands a combo in return. They clinch for a second and Kianzad lands a knee. Kianzad lands a combo. Kianzad with a left hand. They continue to trade and both ladies are landing good shots. They trade punches and Eubanks with a nice left hook. Kianzad lands a nice combo. Kianzad with a late flurry. Close fight. 10-9 Kianzad, 29-28 Kianzad.
Official Result- Pannie Kianzad def. Sijara Eubanks by unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
> Anthony Pettis (#12, 23-10, 10-9 UFC) vs. Alex Morono (18-6 1 NC, 7-3 1 NC UFC)
Morono goes right away towards Pettis and has the back of Pettis on the mat as Pettis slipped on a kick. Morono with some punches from the back. Morono keeping back control and landing punches as he looks for a choke. Pettis spins out and is in the guard of Morono, who looks for a triangle choke. They scramble up and break as Pettis lands a knee. They trade punches and Morono lands a nice right hand. Pettis with a high kick and then a leg kick. Pettis with a spin kick that backs Morono up. Morono gets the back standing and drags Pettis to the ground but Pettis reverses to the top and ends the round there. 10-9 Morono.
They trade to start the second. Morono with a high kick but Pettis blocks it. Pettis with a right hand as he circles away. They both land as there is a lot of circling around going on. Pettis lands a nice left hook. They continue to trade as Pettis is landing better then escaping. Morono with a right hand. Pettis with a left hand after he just barely lands an axe kick. Pettis with a knee to the body. Morono comes forward with a combo but eats a counter right hand from Pettis. Pettis with a left hand and throws Morono to the ground but Morono gets up. Pettis with a body kick and then a right hand. 10-9 Pettis, 19-19.
Pettis with a head kick to start the third. Pettis with a counter right hook as Morono comes forward. Morono gets a takedown and Pettis looks to roll out and he reverses to the top and is in the guard of Morono. Pettis with an elbow from the top. Pettis stands and lands some right hands as Pettis is in the half-guard of Morono. Pettis with some right hands from the top. Pettis with more ground-and-pound. They stand and Pettis has the body control and is controlling position. They break. Pettis with an uppercut. Pettis hurts Morono with a spinning wheel kick and they go to the mat and Pettis looks for a guillotine but time runs out. 10-9 Pettis, 29-28 Pettis.
Official Result- Anthony Pettis def. Alex Morono by unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
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> Marcin Tybura (20-6, 7-5 UFC) vs. Greg Hardy (7-2 1 NC, 4-2 1 NC UFC)
Hardy with a kick and Tybura grabs the leg and lands a punch. Hardy with a left hand to the body and Tybura lands a body kick. Hardy with a right hand. Tybura with a right hand. They trade punches. Tybura with a body kick. Tybura with a left hand and then a front kick to the body. Hardy with a body punch and then a left hook. They trade punches and Hardy lands a nice right hand. Hardy lands another. Tybura attempts a takedown but Hardy defends and they trade punches. Hardy with several right hands and lands an uppercut and Tybura is in trouble. He survives the round as Hardy lands a right hand late. 10-9 Hardy.
They trade to start the second. Tybura with a body kick after he eats some punches from Hardy. Tybura lands a counter combination. Tybura pressing forward more in the second but still eating some punches from Hardy. Tybura lands a combo. They clinch against the fence and Tybura gets a takedown. Tybura on the top and landing big hammerfists and right hands from the top. Hardy is doing nothing. Tybura is just pounding away as Hardy is covering up and in tons of trouble and this fight is stopped. A big win for Tybura as he stops Hardy in the second round.
Official Result- Marcin Tybura def. Greg Hardy by TKO (punches) at 4:31 of Round 2
> Marlon Moraes (#3, 23-7-1, 5-3 UFC) vs. Rob Font (#11, 17-4, 7-3 UFC)
Moraes gets an early takedown and they scrambled back to their feet and then Moraes gets another takedown. Moraes working heavy from the top. Moraes gets to side control and looking to set up a choke. They scramble up and Moraes with a head kick. Font with the jab. They trade punches. Moraes with a hard jab that snaps Font's head back. Font with a combo and Moraes with a spin kick. Font then hurts Moraes a jab and drops him with an uppercut and Font is teeing off from the top. Font with heavy shots from the top as he lands some hammerfists and right hands and this is stopped. It actually went on too long. Font with a huge win as he stops Moraes.
Official Result- Rob Font def. Marlon Moraes by TKO (punches) at 3:47 of Round 1
> Michel Pereira (24-11 2 NC, 2-2 UFC) vs. Khaos Williams (11-1, 2-0 UFC)
Pereira with a combo and a kick to the body. Williams lands some leg kicks and a right hand. Pereira with a high kick that Williams blocks. Pereira misses a front kick but lands a knee in a tie-up. Pereira lands a body kick and Williams lands a counter right hand. Pereira with another body kick and Williams again lands a counter right hand. Pereira with a right hand and lands a knee in a quick clinch. Tense round. 10-9 Williams.
Williams with a combo. Williams with a leg kick. Pereira with a right hand that lands flush. Williams with a combo as he blitzes forward. They clinch against the fence. They break and Pereira circling around again. Williams lands a counter right hand. Williams with a leg kick and Pereira with a counter right hand. Pereira with a body kick. Williams lands a combo and hurts Pereira as he's coming forward. Pereira now lands a late combination and gets a standing choke locked in as he takes Williams to the mat at the end of the second. 10-9 Pereira, 19-19.
Pereira with the jab. They trade jabs. They trade left hands. Williams with a leg kick. They trade left hands. Pereira tries a mule kick that misses by a mile. Williams with a combo. Pereira with a hard body kick. Pereira with a jab and then lands some to the body but Williams counters with a right hand. Pereira gets a takedown and is in side control near the fence. They get to their feet. They trade in close range. Pereira with a right hand and then a body kick. They trade and Williams with a big combo as Pereira lands a head kick. Pereira gets a late takedown and is landing from the top. Pereira with some punches and elbows from the top as the fight ends. Close fight. 10-9 Pereira, 29-28 Pereira.
Official Result- Michel Pereira def. Khaos Williams by unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
> Jose Aldo (#7, 28-7, 10-6 UFC) vs. Marlon Vera (#15, 16-6-1, 10-5 UFC)
Vera with a couple of kicks to start. Vera with a leg kick. He lands another. Aldo with a leg kick. Aldo lands a punch and Vera ties up with him trying to take Aldo down. Aldo defends against the fence. Vera has Aldo pushed against the fence and Aldo reverses and they break. Vera with a left hand. Aldo with a left hand to the body. He lands another and just misses a left hand to the head. Vera with a body kick. Aldo with a leg kick. Aldo with a left hand and then a hard leg kick. Aldo lands and Vera tries a takedown but Aldo defends. Aldo with a left hand to the body. Vera with a head kick and Aldo counters with a left to the body and a hard leg kick. 10-9 Aldo.
They trade leg kicks to start the second. Aldo with another hard leg kick. Vera with a leg kick. Aldo with a combo. They trade punches. Aldo with a left hook that backs Vera up. Aldo with a left hook. Vera pressing forward. Vera with a leg kick. Aldo with a right hand. He lands an uppercut. Aldo with a left hand to the body. They clinch and both land knees. Aldo lands a right hand to the body and eats a counter left hook from Vera. Vera trying for the takedown as he pushes Aldo against the fence. Aldo with some knees to the body. They trade knees to the body. Vera with an elbow as they break. 10-9 Vera, 19-19.
Aldo with a body lock to start the third and looking for a takedown. Aldo jumps on the back of Vera. Vera falls to the mat and Aldo has the back and is working for the choke. Vera with some back punches. Aldo still working on the back and Vera gets to his feet and Aldo has the body triangle and Vera is walking around with Aldo on his back. Vera falls back trying to slam Aldo off his back but now Aldo has his arm around Vera's neck. Vera with back punches. Aldo trying to find the choke but doesn't have it under the chin. Aldo looking for an arm for a kimura but Vera defending. Close fight. 10-9 Aldo, 29-28 Aldo.
Official Result- Jose Aldo def. Marlon Vera by unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
> Stephen Thompson (#5, 15-4-1, 10-4-1 UFC) vs. Geoff Neal (#11, 13-2, 5-0 UFC)
Thompson with a leg kick. Thompson with a head kick that Neal blocks. Neal lands a left hand. Neal lands a combo against the fence. Thompson lands a spin kick to the body and follows it with a punch. Neal with a leg kick. Thompson with a head kick followed by a combo and Neal counters with a left hand. They clash heads and a cut is open on Neal. Thompson is actually cut open as well. It happened before the end of the round so there wasn't much to the end. 10-9 Thompson.
Thompson with a head kick but it is blocked by Neal. Neal gets the body lock against the fence. Thompson escapes and fires a combo that misses. Thompson lands a right hand. Thompson with a side kick. Neal with a body kick. Thompson with a body kick and then goes high and then lands a right hand. Thompson tries a head kick but Neal blocks it. Thompson lands a combo. Thompson with a combo. They trade against the fence late. 10-9 Thompson, 20-18 Thompson.
Thompson with a side kick and then lands a combo. Thompson with a right hand. Thompson with a head kick and then a body kick. Neal comes forward and lands a left hand before clinching. They break. Thompson lands a left hand. Neal just misses a left hand. Neal lands a right hook and they clinch against the fence. Thompson lands a left hand as they break. Thompson with a body kick. Neal with a left hand and then lands a combo. Neal with a body kick and they clinch against the fence. They break and Thompson with a head kick and follows it with a quick combo. Thompson lands a left hand. Thompson lands a right hand and Neal lands a body kick and a left hand. Thompson with a body kick. 10-9 Thompson, 30-27 Thompson.
Thompson with a right hand and follows it with a head kick. Thompson with a quick jab. Neal with a triple jab. Thompson with a right hand. Thompson with a combo but Neal was covering up. They clinch along the fence. Neal with a spinning back fist as they break and then lands the jab. Thompson lands a left hand. Neal lands a left hand but Thompson lands a step-in elbow. Thompson with a knee. Thompson with a right hand. Neal still pressing forward but Thompson landing punches. They trade and Neal with a body kick. Thompson with a body kick. They clinch and Neal has Thompson pressed against the fence. They end the round there. 10-9 Thompson, 40-36 Thompson.
Thompson's leg is a mess. Neal lands a left hand and they throw inside the pocket with both men landing some good punches. Neal lands some hard shots before they break. Thompson with a body kick. Thompson with a combo. Neal with a counter right hand. They trade in close range and Neal lands a good combo. Neal lands some left hands and then Thompson lands a combo and Neal is covering up. Thompson with another combination. They trade before clinching. Neal with some body punches in the clinch. They break and both land punches. Thompson with a combo. Neal with a spinning back elbow. Neal with a couple of punches. They trade and Neal lands a nice left hook. Thompson lands a right hand. Both men are a bloody mess. They trade in the center at the end. Real strong showing from Thompson. 10-9 Thompson, 50-45 Thompson.
Official Result- Stephen Thompson def. Geoff Neal by unanimous decision (50-45, 50-45, 50-45)