It’s the fight Canadian MMA fans have been waiting to see for some time now.
Lethbridge, Alta.’s Lucas Neufeld (5-1) will square off with New Westminster, B.C.’s Josh Kwiatkowski (5-2) in a clash between two of Canada’s top featherweight prospects in the main event of BTC 10 in Vancouver, B.C. on Saturday night.
Since this matchup appeared on his radar, Neufeld said he’s become familiar with Kwiatkowski’s fight style and tendencies, and feels he has a strong read on his game plan.
Neufeld, 28, said he expects Kwiatkowski to come out hard and fast and try to knock him out, which is what will be his downfall.
“I expect Josh to be a victim of his own instincts. What I mean by that is Josh is going to be, fortunately, so predictable. He wants to bang, he wants to come and knock me out. And I want to do the same to him, but I don’t think he’s going to try as sophisticatedly as I will,” said Neufeld in an interview with MMA Empire.
“I expect a gritty, tough dude, who can’t control range, to come in swinging. Like I said, I think he’s going to fall victim to his own habits and instincts.”
Contrary to some rumours and reports, Neufeld said there is no bad blood between he and Kwiatkowski coming into this bout.
He said Kwiatkowski called him out in a respectful manner and they both know they’re two of Canada’s top featherweight prospects that were destined to meet in the cage.
“We’re just excited to fight, that’s the thing. There’s people who are warriors and people who aren’t; we’re just two warriors meeting up going head-to-head,” said Neufeld.
“We’re both on the rise, we’re both winning and, aside from my layoff, we both have momentum.”
While there may be more experienced fighters in Canada’s featherweight division, Neufeld and Kwiatkowski are two of the fastest-rising prospects in the division.
Given their pedigrees and potential, Neufeld said he believes this is one of the best fights you can make in the featherweight division in all of Canada.
“We are two highly-exciting fighters with very equal records. We’re basically the kings of the featherweight division right now,” said Neufeld.
“It’s kind of all eyes on where we’re headed and we’re going to clash for Canada’s top featherweight in the west type thing, outside of the UFC. This is a high-profile fight.”
Having recently signed on with Iridium Sports Agency for representation, Neufeld could be a prime candidate for a shot on Dana White’s Contender Series (DWCS) this fall with a win over Kwiatkowski.
Neufeld said he’s not looking past Kwiatkowski, but said the game plan is to secure a DWCS opportunity following this fight.
“I really hope there’s still room on one of the Dana White’s Contender Series fight cards for a 145er in the fall,” said Neufeld.
“This is exactly the game plan; win this big fight in Canada, on a win streak with finishes, go into the fall with a full head of steam, wipe out the competition, and make the UFC. That has to happen this year; I can’t wait any longer.”