“NEVER LEAVE IT TO THE JUDGES!”
Interview by: AJ Hoffman
Geoff Neal is a former high school football standout who decided to give MMA a whirl, and has found some early success. He recently suffered his first loss in controversial fashion against Levi West, and returns to Cage Combat on Friday to try and get back to his winning ways against BC Compton. After talking to Neal it is obvious that he is developing as quickly mentally as he is physically. With some seasoning, he could be a force to be reckoned with at the pro level.
Neal: When I was a kid I always wanted to do some kind of martial arts, but never really had the time to do so because football was more of a priority for me. I played for Copperas Cove so EVERYTHING was about football. When I graduated things really didn’t go my way with college and recruiting. I ended up going to a small D3 school and really didn’t like the program. That’s when I decided I was gonna pursue my passion in the competition of fighting. I went back home, got a job and found me a gym. I started in April of 2010 and things have been going great since then.
TCD: What would you say your strengths are as a fighter? What are the things you still need to work on?
Neal: I would say me strengths are my speed, strength,and tenacity. I really need to work on my ground game. I also need to work on my self control in and out the cage. But I feel that I’m making extreme progress in those areas.
TCD: A lot of people in these parts didn’t know who you were before your last fight here, but you are now 6-1 as an amateur. Where else have you fought and what made you come to Houston?
Neal: I’ve fought in San Marcos, San Antonio, Oklahoma, and Louisiana. But what made me come to Houston was Eric (Garcia) calling me a few days after registering for his promotion.
TCD: The fight against Levi West at the last Cage Combat was a pretty controversial decision. How did you feel the fight was going to be scored when you were in there, and what were your thoughts when you went back and watched the video?
Neal: I felt I was the more aggresive fighter and i dealt more damage, but it was even on the ground. So I felt I had it won, but I was still a little nervous. After watching the video it kind of made me upset at how out of control I was and how I left some opportunities to finish the fight just slip by. I guess it’s just another learning experience.
TCD: What did you take away from that loss? Do you feel like it made you better?
Neal: NEVER LEAVE IT TO THE JUDGES! The loss did nothing but give me more motivation in my training and it pushed me to work on my Jiu Jitsu and wrestling way more.
TCD: After the fight, Levi said he would be open to a rematch. Was that something you asked the Cage Combat guys about?
Neal: I really wanted to to have a rematch with Levi but after giving it some thought and talking to my fight manager it would be kind of pointless. My reasons for fighting him again are petty and it’s not worth the time right now. Plus I need to start getting used to fighting at 155 before I decide to go pro. We will get our chance for a rematch one day though.
TCD: How much do you know about your opponent, BC Compton?
Neal: All I know about him is his name and his record. (Laughs)
TCD: How do you see this matchup going?
Neal: I see it going my way where ever the fight goes. I’m pretty sure he is going to be tough but I’ve been busting my ass way too much to even consider anything going the other way.
Neal: My long term goal is to be the best fighter I can possibly be. I do plan on going pro sometime in May if everything works out for me.
TCD: Do you have anyone you want to thank?
Neal: I would like to thank my Dad, Mom, and my sister, my roomate/instructor Kasib, my fight manager Hector, my training partners, the rest of my Twin Wolves fam, and everyone one else who supports me. Friend and family. And last but not least I also want to thank God. Without him nothing I do would be possible.