Lucas Neufeld impressive in three-round war, Xavier Nash dominant in second straight win

Photos by Joel Griffith

A weekend of Canadian MMA in Vancouver, B.C. wrapped up Saturday night with a loaded BTC 10 card.

The event showcased several of Canada’s top amateur fighters making their professional debuts, as well as multiple established prospects.

The main event saw two of Canada’s top prospects at featherweight throw down for three rounds.

Lucas Neufeld (now 6-1) came out on top with a unanimous decision win over Josh Kwiatkowski (now 5-3) in what was the front-runner for fight of night.

Coming in, Neufeld said he wasn’t looking to engage in a fire fight with Kwiatkowski, but, at times, the natural fighter instinct took over.

“We threw the hell down. Truly, it wasn’t my intention to engage in that type of fight, but the urge to go for the finish kind of took over,” said Neufeld in an interview with MMA Empire.

“By the end of the first I was racking my brain how I would get the finish, if I needed to change it up to grappling or keep hunting for his chin. Josh is such a durable fighter and was matching pace really well, so I’ll need to watch the fight over to catch the important details.”

The contest was back and forth exchanges on the feet with a few takedowns mixed in by both fighters.

Going into the decision, Neufeld said he believed he had secured rounds one and three, but was still a relief to hear his name called.

“I hate to start counting rounds, but I thought I had the better of him in one and three,” said Neufeld.

“Obviously, being in his hometown, a robbery by the judges was totally possible, but what a massive sense of relief when I heard blue corner. It’s been so long since I’ve felt what it’s like being in the cage and the anticipation of that decision was killing me.”

With the victory, the options for what’s next for Neufeld will be plentiful. MMA events in Canada are beginning to start up again, as well as potential bigger opportunities south of the border could await him.

Neufeld said it’s a matter of recovering from last night’s affair and assessing what the best next step will be.

“First thing is my health. I need to heal up from that fight before I think about jumping back in there with more killers like me,” said Neufeld.

“I guess we need to see how this fight ages, how people feel about the performance, if it was enough to earn a bigger shot or if I take a fight in Canada mid-summer. Obviously, the Unified event was just announced, which excites me, so we’ll see what develops for matchups.”

In co-main event action, Xavier Nash (now 5-4) used a wrestling-heavy attack to earn a unanimous decision win over Jake Macdonald (now 3-2), who was making his return to the cage after seven years away.

Nash said wrestling was part of his game plan coming in, but said he wasn’t necessarily looking to force the takedowns, nor was he shying away from any exchanges on the feet.

“The fight played out just how I wanted. I wanted to put the pressure on and make him feel like he didn’t want to be there,” said Nash in an interview with MMA Empire.

“I wanted him to feel uncomfortable; I wanted to feel uncomfortable because I know I can handle it and I wanted him to wilt.”

This was Nash’s first action since Feb. 2020 where he scored a unanimous decision win over Kris Allard at BTC 9, which makes his win over Macdonald his second triumph in a row and the first time in his career he’s strung multiple wins together.

Nash said he doesn’t like sitting on the sidelines and is looking to return to action as soon as possible in the BTC cage.

“The next step for me is getting on the next BTC card in August,” said Nash.

“I’ll fight the guy who’s willing to sign the line. I’m ready to keep this momentum going.”

Fight recap brought to you by One Step Solutions.