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The jury remains out on whether or not Stephen Thompson’s time as a viable contender in the Ultimate Fighting Championship’s welterweight division has passed, but he will face a serious test when he confronts the surging Geoff Neal in the UFC Fight Night 183 headliner this Saturday at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas.
Thompson has won just twice in his past six appearances—a 2-3-1 stretch that includes two failed attempts to capture the undisputed UFC welterweight crown. “Wonderboy” has not competed since he took a unanimous decision from Vicente Luque at UFC 244 more than a year ago. Neal, meanwhile, enters the cage on the strength of seven consecutive victories. The Dana White’s Contender Series graduate last fought at UFC 245, where he dispatched Mike Perry with a first-round head kick and follow-up punches on Dec. 14, 2019.
As UFC Fight Night 183 “Thompson vs. Neal” approaches, a look at some of the numbers the fighters on the card have generated to this point:
37: Years of age for Thompson. The oldest fighter on the card, he was born in Simpsonville, South Carolina, on Feb. 11, 1983. “Tootsie,” “48 Hrs.,” “The Entity,” “Gandhi” and “Sophie’s Choice” were the Top 5 movies at the domestic box office at the time.
6: First-round finishes to Neal’s credit, accounting for nearly half of his career win total (13). His list of victims includes the aforementioned Perry, Brian Camozzi, Chase Waldon and Bilal Williams.
120: Combined victories between the six men—Luciana Azevedo, Conor McGregor, Max Holloway, Alexander Volkanovski, Marlon Moraes and Petr Yan—who have beaten former UFC and World Extreme Cagefighting champion Jose Aldo. The future hall of famer tackles Marlon Vera in the UFC Fight Night 183 co-main event.
1: Draw on the Vera resume. He battled Fabio Bispo to a three-round stalemate at Inka Fighting Championship 22 on June 29, 2013. It was one of three draws on the nine-fight card at the Atlantic City Casino in Lima, Peru.
57: Seconds needed by Kalinn Williams to carve through his first two UFC opponents, as he put away Alex Morono in 27 seconds at UFC 247 and punched out Abdul Razak Alhassan in 30 seconds at UFC Fight Night 182. He puts his eight-fight winning streak on the line against Michel Pereira in a hotly anticipated welterweight showcase at UFC Fight Night 183.
7: Pereira victories by submission, providing him with 29% of his professional total (24). His methods of choice: two rear-naked chokes, two triangle chokes, one armbar, one guillotine choke and one arm-triangle choke. Known more for his acrobatic standup attacks, Pereira owns 10 other wins by knockout or technical knockout.
4: Split decisions for Moraes, who owns a 3-1 record in those bouts. The former World Series of Fighting champion also has one draw on his ledger: an April 2010 encounter with Sandro Gemaque de Souza under the Dojo Combat banner. Moraes confronts Rob Font in a pivotal middleweight feature at UFC Fight Night 183.
6: Organizations in which Font has fought as a professional mixed martial artist. He has gone 7-3 in the UFC, 6-0 in CES MMA, 1-1 in Premier Fighting Championship, 1-0 in Cage Titans, 1-0 in Cage Fighting Xtreme and 1-0 in Reality Fighting.
25: Years of age for Gillian Robertson. The youngest fighter on the card, she was born on May 17, 1995 in Niagara Falls, Ontario. Montell Jordan’s “This Is How We Do It” was the No. 1 song on Billboard’s Hot 100 at the time. Robertson draws Taila Santos in a featured women’s flyweight tilt at UFC Fight Night 183.
3: Sub-minute stoppage victories under Santos’ belt. The Astra Fight Team standout cut down Geisyele Nascimento with a head kick 30 seconds into their University of Champions 1 pairing on July 5, 2014, disposed of Daniela Cristina Patricia with a volley of elbows 26 seconds into their Aspera Fighting Championship 16 scrap on March 29, 2015 and submitted Juliana Martins with a keylock 48 seconds into their Aspera Fighting Championship 17 match on April 4, 2015.
5: Heavyweight champions, including Marcin Tybura, in the history of the M-1 Global organization. Guram Gugenishvili, Kenny Garner, Damian Grabowski and Alexander Volkov are the others. Tybura squares off with former NFL All-Pro Greg Hardy in a heavyweight attraction at UFC Fight Night 183.
106: Significant strikes by which Hardy has outlanded his opponents in his four UFC victories. He connected on 151 such strikes against Maurice Greene, Yorgan De Castro, Juan Adams and Dmitry Smoliakov while absorbing only 45 in return.
.757: Cumulative winning percentage between the 26 fighters scheduled to compete at the event. They own a combined record of 361-112-4. Aldo holds the most wins (28) of any fighter on the card, while Pereira has been saddled with the most losses (11).