Cove alum to do battle in UFC octagon tomorrow
By TJ MAXWELL
Copperas Cove alum Geoff “Handz of Steel” Neal will get his second opportunity in the Ultimate Fighting Championship tomorrow night at the UFC 228 in Dallas.
Neal (9-2 as a professional) will face Guam’s Frank “The Crank” Camacho (21-6-0) on the early prelim card beginning about 5 p.m. to be aired on UFC Fight Pass.
Neal is a -190 favorite heading into the fight with Camacho coming in as a +165 underdog.
Neal earned his spot in the UFC when he was awarded a three-fight contract after his second knockout in 12 days when he appeared on Dana White’s Tuesday Night Contender Series.
Neal moved up a weight class to fight in the contender series and quickly earned a knockout win over Chase Waldon.
He then made the most of his opportunity by submitting Brian “Mantis” Camozzi at the 2:48 mark of the first round in his Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) debut during the UFC Fight Night Cowboy vs Medeiros fight card at Austin’s Frank Erwin Center in February.
“I knew he was going to tap,” Neal said after his debut win. “I’m too strong. If he would have moved, I would have put my hooks in. He was kind of screwed at that point.
“I felt comfortable and at home when I walked out there. My whole goal was to keep the nerves away and focus on the fight – not think of my family and friends out here. It felt great being out there. I got to get in and get out. I wasn’t expecting a submission, but I saw the opportunity and I took it. As soon as I heal up, I’m ready to go again.”
That opportunity comes tomorrow night in Dallas against Camacho.
The fight card will feature to championship bouts as the co-main events.
Women’s flyweight champion Nicco Montano will defend her title against the no. 1 ranked contender Valentina “Bullet” Shevchenko before the men’s Welterweight Champion Tyron “The Chosen One” Woodley faces no. 2 contender Darren “The Gorilla” Till to end the night.