Geoff Neal can ‘finally say I’m a UFC fighter’ after UFC Brooklyn win

BROOKLYN, N.Y. – Saturday’s UFC on ESPN+ 1 was by no means Geoff Neal’s official introduction to the UFC.

In fact, since stamping his octagon ticket with a first-round knockout at Dana White’s Contender Series 3, Neal had dispatched two UFC opponents, Brian Camozzi and Frank Camacho, within two rounds.

But it wasn’t until he was able to top the durable Belal Muhammad (14-3, 5-2 UFC) and snap his four-fight winning streak in the process that Neal (11-2 MMA, 3-0 UFC) felt like he could make what for others may have seemed like an obvious statement about himself.

“(This win) means I can finally say I’m a UFC fighter,” Neal said after his unanimous decision win at Barclays Center. “Pretty much.”

Neal was still “processing” his big win as he discussed it backstage. He knew he was glad to get it over with, after months of doing what he usually does about his fights: stressing over it. And though decisions are not quite his preference, as proven by a record that only featured a pair of them before, Neal was also happy to “finally get three rounds in the UFC against a tough opponent.”

In any case, Neal was fully aware of Muhammad’s ability to eat some spot-on, heavy shots and keep standing. And while his body ate – and felt – a few of Muhammad’s shots, as well, what matters is that Neal was ultimately able to recover from them quickly.

Perhaps most importantly, though, Neal felt pretty much just as comfortable as he looked in there.

“My last fights have been like that,” Neal said. “I think I finally feel at home when I’m in the cage. Like I’m just in there, just like ‘OK, another day in the office. It’s nothing.’”

Now riding a five-round winning streak, three of those being in the UFC cage, it’s fair to think that Neal may have earned himself the right to call some shots moving forward. As it turns out, however, Neal doesn’t have many plans other than going home, taking a bath and getting back into training.

“Whatever my coach comes at me with as far as fights, I’m taking whatever,” Neal said. “I’m ready for anything.”

To hear more from Neal, check out the video above.

And for complete coverage of UFC on ESPN+ 1, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

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