The last UFC card of the year is a special one as UFC Vegas 17 stacks up as one of the best Fight Night cards in recent memory. Cageside Press has its picks set.

Staff Writers
Tybura vs. Hardy
Moraes vs. Font
Pereira vs. Williams
Aldo vs. Vera
Thompson vs. Neal
Ryan Fortune (153-74)
Jay Anderson (146-81)
Joe McDonagh (128-83)
Josh Evanoff (122-82)
Mike McClory (64-47)
Gabriel Gonzalez (128-99)
Dan Doherty (125-97)
Dylan Bowker (109-90)
Justin Gibbons (103-88)
Doug Murray (12-8)
Eddie Law (78-78)

The headliner for UFC Vegas 17 is a step up in competition for Geoff Neal, who will be facing longtime top contender Stephen Thompson. Neal has been very impressive since joining the promotion through the Contender Series. The welterweight has gone 5-0 in the Octagon with four stoppages and wins over Belal Muhammad and Niko Price. Since his two title shots against Tyron Woodley, Thompson is 2-2, with one loss being a controversial decision and the other being a spectacular comeback by Anthony Pettis. Thompson was picked by eight of 11 writers.

The co-main event is between former champion Jose Aldo and rising contender Marlon Vera. Aldo is 0-2 since moving to bantamweight, but received a title shot after a controversial decision loss to Marlon Moraes. Vera is on a tear and has won six of his last seven fights and many thought he should have been victorious in the one loss against Song Yadong. Vera was slightly favored, receiving six picks to Aldo’s five.

Khaos Williams looks to continue his run against Michel Pereira. Williams has only needed 57 seconds to go 2-0 against UFC veterans Alex Morono and Abdul Razak Alhassan. Pereira is 2-2 in the Octagon with one of the losses being a DQ in a one-sided fight against Diego Sanchez. Williams was picked by eight of 11 writers.

Top featherweights Rob Font and Marlon Moraes will square off. Moraes has been on a skid lately, losing two of his last three and not looking exactly impressive in his win over Jose Aldo. Font is on a two-fight win streak and won a Fight of the Night over Ricky Simon in his last appearance. All but two writers picked Moraes.

Opening up the main card will be Marcin Tybura and Greg Hardy. Tybura is on a three-fight win streak, defeating Ben Rothwell most recently. Hardy has won his last two fights, knocking out Maurice Greene his last time out. Tybura was picked by seven of 11 writers.