Las Vegas, NV – After having to withdraw from their initial booking UFC welterweight Geoff Neal is glad to be on a big PPV for his rebooked bout against Shavkat Rakhmonov at UFC 285 on Saturday night at T-Mobile Arena.
“Business as usual. I like fighting in arenas it adds an element of excitement. I didn’t train 13 years out of my life to fight here in the (UFC) APEX you know. I want to fight in arenas with the crowd. That’s what I do,” Neal told reporters including Cageside Press on Wednesday.
Originally set for a fight night card in January Neal withdrew from the first booking due to injury, but one that was not disclosed. Neal would not lift the curtain and reveal what happened at media day either.
“Just an injury, I don’t want to disclose it, but something happened. Could have fought, but it was wiser just to push back, and it’s actually perfect being on the card with Jon Jones and Valentina (Shevchenko). It worked out perfect for me,” he said.
“My coach made me do it. I was going to fight, but he was like nah we’re going to push it back.”
Moving on from Rakhmonov to fight someone else quickly became a non-starter for Neal when he noticed some of the trash talk his opponent engaged in on social media.
“He kept on chirping on Twitter. Playing me like I was scared of him or something. There’s no fighter in the UFC that’s scared of another fighter,” said Neal.
“If somebody is they need to retire.”
The chirping on social media brought out the game Neal for this fight.
“He kept on doing it on twitter and I was like if this is what you want, let’s go,” he said.
Neal knows that Rakhmonov is good, but he won’t know how good until he gets into the octagon. It’s nothing new for Neal facing another good fighter as he’s beaten others in his career.
“That’s to be determined. I don’t know how good he really is. From what I watched he’s a good fighter, but I’ve beaten good fighter too,” Neal said.
“We’re just going to see on Saturday see what the hype’s about. I want to see who this unstoppable Shavkat is.”
Watch the entire media day scrum with Geoff Neal above. Neal takes on Shavkat Rakhmonov on the main card of UFC 285 on Saturday night at T-Mobile Arena.