Geoff Neal is looking to be the first person to knockout Mike Perry at UFC 245.
Although Neal is ranked and undefeated in the UFC, he is taking on an unranked Perry who is also coming off a loss. Yet, the Fortis MMA product doesn’t care as he knows “Platinum” is a big name.
“That was the goal. Either a ranked opponent or someone like him so this is great. He is a good test for me,” Neal said to BJPENN.com. “I need to get used to these type of fights. Just the guys that are going to go out there and go for the finish. The Niko [Price] fight helped me prepare for this for sure.”
Neal will also be competing on arguably the biggest card of the year in UFC 245. He says that will only help him gain more exposure and in turn, hopefully, get higher-ranked opponents to fight him after this scrap.
“Honestly, it is great just because of the exposure. A lot of people are going to see my fight. But, at the end of the day, I don’t care who is on the card as all I care about is my fight and my fight alone,” he explained. “I’m selfish and don’t care about who else is on the card, it’s all about exposure. I feel like more people will watch the prelims than buy the pay-per-view. This is a main card fight.”
In order to get those ranked opponents, Neal will need to beat Perry on Saturday. He is confident he will do so and believes he will be the first person to put “Platinum” away.
“It could go a bunch of different ways. I just see me winning. I want to be the first person to put him away,” Neal said. “No one has been able to finish him, so that is my goal. It is going to be a finish in the first round or be a three-round war.”
This will also be Neal’s first fight without working as a waiter on the side. The 29-year-old had been waiting as a side-gig for 10 years, but he realized now was the time to do fighting full-time.
So, with no job to fall back on, Neal says winning on Saturday is a must if he wants to climb the welterweight rankings.
“If you lose at 170 it sets you back. Winning is always important, I’m 4-0 in the UFC but I still feel like I need to string together five or six more wins before a loss is acceptable in my eyes. Mike Perry is a big name, even though he isn’t ranked he has fought some tough motherf*****s. A win over him will really open eyes for people and I will have some more weight when I call people out.”
In the end, Neal is confident he will get his hand raised and look to fight some top names next time out like a Robbie Lawler or Stephen Thompson.
Do you think Geoff Neal will be able to finish Mike Perry at UFC 245?
This article first appeared on BJPENN.com on 12/10/2019.