- Lucas Neufeld has been competing in MMA for over three years, but has never had the opportunity to do so in the fight capital of the world. Until Friday night.
Although Neufeld, 25, is “stoked” about fighting in Las Vegas and has given the fight plenty of hype, he said the reward is going to be celebrating the win with his family and friends.
“When I get there, it’s just going to be another ring. I’m going to go in there, do my thing, beat a guy’s ass, get paid for it, and go celebrate with my family in Vegas, of all places,” said Neufeld in an interview.
“I have a troop of people making the trip.”
But standing in front of Neufeld and a Vegas celebration is a tough opponent in Leavitt, who has four of his five victories, including amateur, by submission.
Neufeld said he’s well aware of Leavitt’s skill on the mat, and will look to keep the fight standing and walk out of the cage with a knockout.
“I really believe lighting is going to strike, and it’s going to strike on his jaw,” said Neufeld.
“If I don’t knock him out in the first, I’m prepared to go the full three rounds. It could end up being gritty. He’s tough and has good endurance.”
While Neufeld isn’t looking past Leavitt, he said it’s been confirmed his next fight will be back home in Lethbridge, Alta., when Z-Promotions returns for Fight Night 8 on Jan. 25.
But since reaching 3-0 in his professional career, Neufeld said he’s been taking heat from certain people, including Mahon, for accepting easy fights, and said he would only be proving those people right if he accepted a fight with Mahon, if he had a below .500 record.
“If he has a losing record coming out of his next fight, there’s no way I’m fighting him,” said Neufeld.
“If he wins his next fight and wants to fight me in January, I’d love to make his wish come true.”
Leavitt Standing Strong
On the opposite side of the cage, Leavitt is looking to ensure Neufeld won’t be undefeated heading into a potential matchup with Mahon, while also remaining undefeated himself.
Although he’s shown a strong jiu-jitsu game so far in his young career, Leavitt said he’s confident in his ability to win this fight, no matter where it goes.
“If I see an opening to enforce my will, I’m going to take it to the ground and do what I usually do in all my fights,” said Leavitt in an interview.
“But I also feel very confident on the feet, and I’m not worried wherever this fight goes.”
With Leavitt being a Las Vegas resident, this will be a hometown fight for the 23-year-old training out of Syndicate MMA.
And while he may have support from the heavy majority of the crowd in attendance, Leavitt said he has one fan who will make enough noise for the entire building.
“The cheers from the crowd probably aren’t going to get to me because my mom is louder than everybody put together,” said Leavitt.
“When my mom is on the sideline, it’s already like I have the whole crowd behind me.”
Following a successful undefeated amateur career, Leavitt kicked off his professional career with a submission win back in Oct. 2017, and doesn’t plan on taking his first loss on Friday.
Although Neufeld is “a nice Canadian dude,” Leavitt said he intends on sending him home with his first loss as a professional.
“I’m going to pressure him, he’s going to try to push me back, but won’t be able to, and I think he’s going to panic,” said Leavitt.
“When that happens, I’m going to find a way to capitalize on it and finish the fight.”
“I just want to thank my friends, my family and my training partners because I can’t do what I want to do with my life without them.”