Streaking welterweight contender, Geoff ‘Handz of Steel’ Neal has been hospitalized ahead of his highly-anticipated Octagon return on August 29th. opposite division mainstay, Neil ‘The Haitian Sensation’ Magny – with former division titleholder, ‘Ruthless’ Robbie Lawler meeting Magny on short notice instead.
Neal, 29, took to his social media last night – revealing how he had spent the previous week in an intensive care unit, and how he had almost “died“.
“These past few week (sic) have been crazy, and that’s putting it lightly,” Neal posted on his official Instagram. “It’s really hard to try to find an eloquent way to say, ‘I almost died’. So, screw it.. I almost died…. This really put a lot of things into perspective for me. Never did I ever think I would be hooked up to a dialysis machine before my 30s. Everything was going well for me. Was training every day, making money at work, just signed a contract for a huge fight, then BOOM, life hit me with a check hook. I’m just glad to be home after having to spend 1 week in ICU. Stay healthy out there y’all and listen to your body at all times.“
The Texas striker last featured at UFC 245 in December of last year, launching a first-round head kick followed by strikes stoppage of Mike Perry. Former welterweight best, Lawler – will make his first outing since a one-sided defeat to former interim best, Colby Covington at UFC Fight Night Newark last August.
At UFC 250 in June, Magny managed his second straight win, in a unanimous judging win over Anthony Rocco Martin. MMA DNA reporter, Marcel Dorff was first to pen the news of the reworked pairing.
Hoping to bounce back from his third consecutive defeat, veteran finisher, Lawler is without a win since his close unanimous decision triumph over Donald ‘Cowboy’ Cerrone at UFC 214 in July of 2017. The former welterweight best won the crown at UFC 181 in December of 2014 – taking a split judging win over Johny Hendricks, before defending opposite Rory MacDonald in a rematch, and another instant classic beside Carlos Condit.
Also nabbing a victory over one-time interim best, Condit – Elevation Fight Team mainstay, Magny has one of the most experienced résumés at welterweight today. The 33-year-old has managed victories over former interim challenger, Kelvin Gastelum, former Bellator middleweight best, Hector Lombard, another common foe, Hendricks, and Erick Silva to name a few.