UFC 298 live blog: Geoff Neal vs. Ian Machado Garry

The UFC 298 live blog will cover the welterweight main event matchup between Geoff Neal and Ian Machado Garry taking place this Saturday in Anaheim, California.

Geoff Neal has established himself as a top-10 welterweight in the UFC since making his debut with the promotion in 2018.

He has faced stiff competition in the stacked 170-pound division, proving his skills against some of the best fighters in the weight class.

While Neal suffered a brutal defeat to Shavkat Rakhmonov over a year ago, he now looks to regain his footing against Ian Machado Garry, an emerging talent looking to make a name for himself. 

As has been the case in his UFC tenure thus far, Neal finds himself trying to retain his position in the rankings against another hungry, rising contender seeking to take his spot in the welterweight ranks.

Latest UFC 298 Odds On DraftKings Sportsbook

Latest UFC 298 Odds On DraftKings Sportsbook

Ian Machado Garry is one of the most exciting rising prospects in the jam-packed welterweight division.

Still just 26 years old, the Irish fighter has remained undefeated since joining the UFC in 2021. Garry has quickly established himself as one of the top emerging talents in the 170-pound weight class. 

A victory over Geoff Neal would be enormously significant for Garry, potentially cementing him as a true title contender going forward.

With so much at stake for both men as they seek to prove themselves against top-10 opposition, be sure to follow their main event matchup via the UFC 298 live blog below.

Post Fight
Geoff Neal seemed unsatisfied with the judges’ decision, though it appeared to be the correct outcome.
He was unable to make a definitive statement against Garry. The crowd vigorously booed Garry, who enthusiastically embraced their hostility. 

He praised Neal’s power but felt his jab-focused strategy was the path to victory. Garry then called for a fight with Colby Covington, believing the three-time title challenger’s recent skid against champions had made him vulnerable.

 “I’m ready to retire you from the UFC,” Garry declared. Despite the boos, an enthused Garry celebrated living his dream of competing in the UFC.
He dismissed the crowd’s reception, focusing only on achieving his goal of becoming a welterweight world champion.
Official DecisionIan
Machado Garry def. Geoff Neal via split decision 30-27, 28-29, 30-27
Round 3
As the third round started, Neal’s corner implored him to be more active and use combinations. Garry began evasive as usual, countering with kicks and knees. 

An early clinch stall drew boos from the crowd. They separated and traded body shots, with Neal landing two in a row.
He pressured Garry along the fence but struggled to land cleanly.
Garry’s leaping knees continued to find their mark, though Neal displayed a strong chin. As Garry’s volume increased, 

Neal’s decreased in the latter half of the round. He tried desperately to turn the tide with flurries in the final minute but was met with further mobility and kicks from Garry.
They clinched again briefly before the horn.
MMA Fighting scored the back-and-forth round for Garry, putting him up two rounds to one on the judges’ scorecards entering the final five minutes.
The outcome was still very much undecided between these two welterweight talents.
Round 2
Neal came out aggressive again in Round 2, pushing forward behind power punches. Garry countered effectively from distance with kicks and knees. Neal managed to clinch along the fence, landing short shots. 

However, the stalling drew boos and Garry broke free. Garry’s unpredictable long strikes found their targets, including a knee and body kick.
But Neal scored with a hard left hook and continued pursuing. They battled in close before separating, with Neal sneaking in punches on the break.
A swelling emerged around Garry’s mouth. Both men had success, with Garry countering well while backpedalling and Neal cutting off the cage. A late Garry left hand counterbalanced Neal’s big left up the middle. 

They talked briefly in another clinch before the bell. The cagey round was incredibly close to score, leaving the judges with a tough decision entering the third round.
Round 1
Neal came out in a southpaw stance to make Garry orthodox. They traded low kicks and jabs as both probed for openings. 

Garry landed teeps and a left hand to the body. Neal stalked him around the cage but struggled to cut it off effectively. An intense exchange saw Neal crack Garry’s head back with a left. 

He immediately clinched Garry against the fence, battling for underhooks to Neal’s advantage as the crowd rallied behind him. Though they jockeyed for position, no significant offence landed in the clinch.

Breaking free, Garry unleashed kicks and knees that found their range. His timing and distance control allowed his signature stepping strike to threaten Neal, who began covering up more. 

Neal answered back with punches in the pocket late, but Garry’s varied attacks across the round earned him the narrow scoring edge.
Tale of the Tape
Garry, 26, held advantages in significant age (7 years) and height (4 inches) over Neal, 33. However, Neal had a slight .5-inch reach edge according to the tale of the tape. 

Garry entered as the betting favorite at -240, with oddsmakers giving Neal +200 underdog odds.

In an unusual move, Garry crossed the cage prior to introductions and shook hands with Neal’s corner, receiving boos from the crowd that clearly favored Neal. 

Bruce Buffer got the introductions underway to more jeers for Garry, who revelled in his villain role by screaming with enthusiasm.

Neal bounced rhythmically as fans loudly supported their man. Frank Trigg was the third man in the cage overseeing the welterweight contest, which was now ready to get underway.
Machado Garry entered to the classic rock anthem “Layla” by Derek and the Dominoes, an iconic guitar-driven song that had the Irish fighter visibly vibing along. 

Though strongly booed, it was difficult not to appreciate Garry’s song selection from the all-time hit.
Geoff Neal took a more serious demeanor for his entrance, shadowboxing purposefully while making his way to the cage to an ominous yet unidentified heavier track. 

In contrast to Garry’s relaxed gait, Neal emerged with intensity and focus, signaling his aim to handle business inside the octagon against the brash young challenger.
The previous contest saw Merab Dvalishvili cement his status as the top bantamweight in the world with an utterly dominant showing.
Ian Machado Garry and Geoff Neal now step into the cage, an intriguing welterweight matchup with potential for excitement.

While unlikely to match Dvalishvili’s breathtaking performance, these two rising 170-pound talents are primed to light the arena on fire in their own right. The stage is set – let the battle commence!


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