The Wild Thing is set to enter the Unified MMA cage for the very first time.
In one of the main card’s most anticipated fights, Lethbridge Alta.’s Lucas Neufeld (6-1) will square off with Edmonton, Alta.’s Neal Anderson (10-4) in featherweight action at Unified MMA 43 on Friday night.
Neufeld has made quite a bit of noise across Canada while living up to his ‘Wild Thing’ nickname. The 28-year-old has jumped out to a solid record and has done so in entertaining fashion.
“My last fight I tried to not get into a brawl. Not to show my hand or anything, but those are my instincts,” Neufeld said in an interview with MMA Empire.
“That’s what a fight is for me. I have a hard time being the guy who sits back and lets things unfold in front of him. I’m the guy who makes s**t happen. I’m the guy moving forward and making sure the judges get the next few minutes off.”
Not only does Neufeld look to push the pace and constantly move forward, he’s also known for finding unconventional ways to hurt his opponent.
With a plethora of spinning attacks and off-tempo techniques, Neufeld feels well-equipped to deal with the textbook style of Anderson.
“I feel like my dynamic style is exactly what’s going to be the kryptonite for Neal because he’s Mr. Linear,” Neufeld said.
“He’s the guy who’s going to be throwing a lot of straight punches and I know I have to be careful of those long punches and that long knee up the middle. He’s just a long opponent in general, but I’m ready for it.”
Although the wild style is part of what makes Neufeld so successful, there’s plenty of technique that goes into setting those shots up.
As he keeps growing in the sport, Neufeld keeps adding to his game and if all goes to plan Friday night it will be the best performance of his young career.
“There’s a couple funky little strikes I’m playing with. I’m also just working at tightening everything up and being as technically sound as possible because overall it just increases your percentages,” Neufeld said.
“I know what I have to look out for, but at the end of the day it comes down to my style being as sharp and refined as possible and then whatever I encounter I’m good. If I go out there and do what I’ve been working on in camp, I win. I turn the lights out on Neal Anderson.”
On paper, this matchup is shaping up to be the toughest of Neufeld’s career, but it’s one he feels he’s more than ready for.
After a big win on a stacked card full of Canadian champions and former UFC talent, Neufeld has his sights set on either a Canadian title or a particular Tuesday night showdown.
“Hypothetically, when I win, I have a record of 7-1. That’s a good looking record as a professional. There’s definitely some notable wins,” Neufeld said.
“That absolutely puts me into title contention at Unified or any other Canadian promotion. But then obviously down the line, c’mon, Dana White’s Contender Series. That’s what we’re looking at.”
This matchup will also mark yet another showdown between two of Alberta’s top gyms in Canadian Martial Arts Centre (CMC) and Shaved Bears MMA.
“These are two great gyms from Alberta and we always seem to do battle because they breed tough fighters who don’t say no, they make weight and show up on fight day. And we’re the same way,” Neufeld said.
“Obviously they’re our adversaries, but we have a ton of admiration and respect for them. It’s exciting to fight someone from such a high-calibre gym. It’s important to put yourself in those positions and try to prove you’re better.”
“My gym, CMC MMA. My sponsor, OHMY Apparel. My lovely wife and all my friends, family and people who have supported me.” Follow Neufeld on social media: INSTAGRAM