UFC welterweight contender Geoff Neal said he’s frustrated with his long layoff and admitted that he went back to his second job as a server to make money.
Neal is currently the No. 11 welterweight in the UFC rankings but he is having major troubles getting another fight lined up. Despite being a perfect 5-0 in the UFC and coming off of a huge TKO win over Mike Perry at UFC 245 last December, Neal told James Lynch of theScore that no one wants to fight him because he is such a dangerous fighter yet ranked in the bottom half of the top-15.
“I tell people I’m in purgatory in my career. I’m ranked No 11, not in the top-10 yet. I don’t have a big following behind me, so everybody that I want to fight doesn’t want to fight me because I’m a big risk. I’m somebody who knocks people out so I’m dangerous for their stock. So I see why they don’t want to accept the fight with me. But it’s still bullish*t, I need to get paid, but I’m just sitting out here waiting,” Neal said.
Neal mentioned some potential names that have turned down fights against him, including Michael Chiesa and Santiago Ponzinibbio.
“I’ll tell you who I’ve been trying to fight. I’ve been trying to fight Michael Chiesa and Santiago Ponzinibbio. I don’t know all the details, whether or not they’ve been offered a contract or whatever, but they know I want to fight them. But they both never want to respond to what I have to say,” Neal said. “(Chiesa) is probably scared.”
The frustration has led to Neal returning to his second job as a server, something he previously did before winning a life-changing $50,000 bonus for his TKO victory over Niko Price at UFC 241 last summer that led to him temporarily quitting to focus only on MMA.
“I actually started working again right before COVID, because I could foresee that I was going to be sitting on the bench for a while, so I needed to start doing something. So I’m actually back working, I started working on Wednesday, I’m actually going home now to get ready for work,” Neal said.
“I’m actually back at Texas Steakhouse, I can’t do Moxies anymore. The two- or three-o’clock on the morning is what kills me. I’m a server right now (at Texas Steakhouse).”
Considering he is one of the best welterweights in the world, hopefully the UFC will be able to secure Neal an opponent sometime soon so fans can see him get back to work in the cage and continue to work towards claiming the UFC welterweight title one day.
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