Ben Neumann Sees LFA 12 Title Bout as Most Important Fight of His Career

Looking back on his win over Damion Hill in January at LFA 2, there’s not much that welterweight up and comer Ben Neumann feels he could have done better.

“The fight went very well on my end,” Neumann told “I don’t think I really got hit solid once the whole fight. There were a couple of grazing punches, but not too much at all.

“I was controlling the fight most of the entire time. I finally got an opening for the rear naked choke, so I’m happy that I was able to get the finish before time ran out.”

The win was Neumann’s seventh in his last eight fights. He attributes his success to a change in how he mentally conducts himself during the course of a bout.

“My biggest switch felt like it was a couple years ago after my (Steve Merth) loss,” said Neumann. “The change back then was a mental change. I worked on things to help focus my mind during a fight.

“My mind used to wander during fights, and not be completely focused, and that led to more mistakes in the fight itself. That was the bit switch for me was being able to stay focused in my fights, and it’s worked out the past few years.”

Neumann (12-4) will look to pick up his fourth win in a row, as well as capture his first major MMA championship when he takes on Derrick Krantz (19-9) in the 170-pound championship main event of LFA 12 on Friday in Prior Lake, Minn.

“He’s definitely a solid guy,” Neumann said of Krantz. “He has a lot of knockouts with his striking, especially with his hook. A lot of times if he doesn’t get the knockout he’ll press against the cage, get his takedowns and ground and pound from there. I’ve prepared for all of that.

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“Fights almost always go to the ground at some point, and once it goes there, that’s where I have to take advantage of it. I’ve got five rounds to do it instead of three, so that’s more than enough time I think.”

While a championship could be a very important accolade to add to his resume, the thing that’s foremost on Neumann’s mind is picking up a win worth getting him the kind of attention he needs to go to the next level.

“The title is the apex of this goal to get to the UFC, but you’ve got to get that win,” said Neumann. “It is more important than any other fight. I know a lot of fighters say that, and a lot of times it is and it feels that way, and I think this time it definitely is.”

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