Since turning professional in late 2017, Lethbridge’s Lucas Neufeld has had no problem finding motivation.
On Feb. 10, Neufeld (1-0) will enter the cage for his second professional bout when he welcomes George Matechuck (1-1) into his backyard for a featherweight showdown at Fight Night 6.
Neufeld said it was an amazing feeling when he received payment for the first time as an MMA fighter, and the idea of many more pay cheques to come has him raring to go.
“I’m so motivated by the fact that I could potentially turn this into a career,” said Neufeld in an interview.
“I’m just really excited. This could one day be my job, so I need to treat it like that now.”
Well, his job will continue Saturday night when the cage doors close on he and Matechuck.
Neufeld said he has nothing bad to say about Matechuck, but he feels out-of-town opponents might not be aware of just how supportive Lethbridge MMA fans are of their hometown fighters, which he believes will play a factor.
“I’m pumped. This is in my hometown. My whole family’s going to be there. All my friends, and all the people I love are going to be there cheering me on,” said Neufeld.
“That’s something he’s not even going to be able to prepare for.”
In addition to his friends and family, Neufeld said he will also have the support of all his sponsors (Student Works Painting, East Meets West Health Centre, Southern Chiropractic, and Lafarge Lethbridge), which he greatly appreciates.
Leading up to the fight, Neufeld said one bump in the road he encountered was not knowing anything about Matechuck. With that being the situation, he said he’s been focusing on being well-rounded to be prepared for anything during his training camp at Progressive Fighting Academy.
“It’s been all about being well-rounded and having good, strong wrestling,” said Neufeld.
“Good wresting is undeniable in MMA. You’re a fool if you think you’re going to out-strike a wrestler.”
Rage Fighting Series present the Fight Force MMA fight of the year between Lucas "Wild Thing" Neufeld of PFA and… https://t.co/wFq2sSxRaH
— PFA #TeamPFA (@PFAdaily) April 9, 2016
Matechuck Ready For War
Making the trip from Saskatoon, SK and training out of Alliance Training Centre, Matechuck said he knows Neufeld will bring a fast pace into the cage, so he’s been working on his movement to counteract that.
“He’s a straight shooter. He likes to push the pace,” said Matechuck in an interview.”
“That’s why my game plan has been about movement, to get around his blitz.”
Matechuck’s last bout was scheduled for June 9, 2017 against Gurjeet Bilkhu, but he was forced to withdraw due to injury. He said it was a long road to recovery, but he’s back at 100 per cent now and ready for war.
His last time competing in the cage was back on March 4, 2016 where he suffered a first round submission loss to Clay Dixon.
He said heading into the fight against Dixon was similar to this bout with Neufeld in that he’d been out action for awhile. He admitted he felt a little cage rust his bout with Dixon, but said that won’t be the case this time around.
“I didn’t have the animosity I did in my previous fights,” said Matechuck
“I really needed to bring that back, so that’s why I’ve been focussing on being more aggressive, and having more movement this time around.”