One of the most exciting fights in the UFC’s welterweight division has returned to his second job due to a lack of fights. Geoff “Handz of Steel” Neal (13-2) is currently sitting on the sidelines waiting for a fight. The 11th ranked welterweight in the world has been an absolute monster since making his UFC debut, but unfortunately, the promotion cannot get him a fight. With a lack of income coming in, Neal has had to take up a job as a server at a steakhouse in Texas.
“I tell people I’m in purgatory in my career. I’m ranked number 11, not in the top 10 yet. I don’t have a big following behind me, so everybody that I want to fight doesn’t want to fight me because I’m a big risk. I’m somebody who knocks people out so I’m dangerous for their stock. So I see why they don’t want to accept the fight with me. But it’s still bullshit, I need to get paid, but I’m just sitting out here waiting,” Neal told The Score.
What should the UFC do?
Even more frustrating for Neal is the fact that many of the men he’s defeated have been active including Belal Muhammad and Mike Perry. For now, Neal continues to wait for the UFC to call him with an opponent that would appeal to him. In looking at the rankings, there are a couple of fights that might make sense that the UFC could pull together. Maybe they could pair Neal with Raphael Dos Anjos (29-13). Dos Anjos is coming off of back-to-back losses, but it would be a fight that would give Neal a guy with some name recognition. Another possibility could be Anthony Pettis (23-10). This wouldn’t be a step up in rankings for Neal, but it would give him someone to fight with some name recognition.
The one that makes the most sense to me is a fight with Michael Chiesa (17-4). Chiesa has won three in a row on his way to the eighth ranking in the division. Neal suggested that Chiesa is a guy he wants to fight, but he believes that Chiesa is scared to fight him. I’m not sure what the UFC is going to do, but they need to get Neal a fight soon. He’s too good and on too much of a roll to just sit on the sidelines. You can catch Neal’s full interview below.