Now that the event is over, it is safe to say that UFC 285 delivered on all fronts. Fans were treated to some amazing fights and shocking results, meaning that it was a memorable night for everyone watching. However, amidst the action, Geoff Neal had to be transported to the hospital.
Ahead of the fight, barely anyone gave the #7 ranked welterweight a prayer. Facing an unbeaten rising prospect in Shavkat Rakhmonov, everybody expected an easy night at the office for him. However, Geoff made it clear on media day, that he wouldn’t be going down that easily.
Geoff Neal has been transported to the hospital following his loss to Shavkat Rakhmonov
— Aaron Bronsteter (@aaronbronsteter) March 5, 2023
As such, “Handz of Steel” lived up to his nickname and delivered one of the best fights on the night. Unfortunately, as per Aaron Bronsteter of TSN Sports, Geoff has been transported to the hospital immediately after the fight. Having gone blow for blow and even knocking out Rakhmonov’s mouthguard, Geoff showed heart and courage in the fight.
Unfortunately, despite all his hard work and grit, Neal succumbed to a standing rear-naked choke towards the end of Round 3. Despite being underestimated by many and Rakhmonov himself, Geoff put in an exemplary effort and has rightfully demanded respect. Thus, the fans and family of the fighter will be wishing him a speedy recovery.
Geoff Neal vs Shavkat Rakhmonov: fight highlights and breakdown
Preceding the co-main between Valentina Shevchenko and Alexa Grasso, there were a lot of expectations from the fight. With the contest now behind us, we can safely say, that the welterweight contest was easily one of the best fights on the card. Naturally, the fight was nominated for a Fight of The Night bonus, despite Neal missing weight by 4 lbs.
Despite getting cracked by a head kick and knee in the very first round, Geoff was able to rally back. From a difficult position, Geoff was able to stun Rakhmonov before the bell rang. Despite Nomad being in the lead, Neal did not lose his cool and showcased some brilliant takedown defense throughout the fight.
These two did nothing short of deliver tonight 👊 #UFC285
— UFC (@ufc) March 5, 2023
Not only did Neal take Rakhmonov for his longest fight yet, but he also tested the #9 ranked welterweight’s chin on numerous occasions. Known for being one of the most durable welterweights, Geoff was able to give as good as he got. Ahead of the third, Neal’s corner urged him to try to connect with Shavkat’s chin a bit more, which was the best path to victory for him.
Thus, Neal set forth, rocking Rakhmonov before taking some big hits himself. Eventually, Neal took too much damage, bleeding from his head and nose. As such, Rakhmonov capitalized on the situation and locked in a standing rear naked choke, closing out the contest. Currently, the extent of the damage to Neal is unknown. But fans will hope he can recover and fight again soon.