While his 2021 wasn’t as active as he would have liked, featherweight Lucas Neufeld was able to get in a fight last year and pick up a win, which is never a bad thing.
If anything, having a tough go las year makes Neufeld appreciate 2022 and the promise it holds for being a much busier with more chances for him to fight and work his way up the 155-pound ranks.
“In terms of MMA it was a struggle,” Neufeld told MMAWeekly. “There was a lot of frustration being a Canadian mixed martial artist myself. The opportunities were pretty limited for myself. I was very, very fortunate to have an MMA victory last year against a really high-level, good, name opponent.
“For me I need to have these multiple fight years for momentum and my career and all those things. In 2021 I want to count my blessings that I was able to compete, I was able to win, which I worked hard for, but I want 2022 the year we open and the year we get our lives back and we have all these great MMA shows.”
Neufeld was able to work on his game in 2021, but admittedly even that had its complications.
“I’m a much more hungry fighter,” said Neufeld. “What makes fighters dangerous is that drive, that drive, for that success. As far as my skills goes, we were dealing with gym closures and stuff like that. There were no regular classes scheduled. So you had to really take it upon yourself to learn online or get together with your close people and still get that training in.
“I still developed as a martial artist, a person, and still grew as a fighter and a person. It was still a challenge though, it really was.”
This Friday in Enoch, Alberta, Canada, Neufeld (6-1) will look to pick up his fourth win in a row when he faces Neal Anderson (10-4) in a main card 145-pound bout at Unified MMA 43.
“I’ve just go to correct any and all holes in my game, any mistakes I’ve had, and keep working on what’s worked for me in the past,” Neufeld said. “(Anderson’s) got advantages in height and reach and these things, but I know I’ve got a lot of advantages in my own skillset and am looking to finish this fight.”
Looking ahead to the remainder of 2022, Neufeld is focused on Friday night, but does have a mind towards what could come this year should he kick things off in a big way this weekend.
“You can’t look past what’s in front of you, but you do have to have a roadmap,” said Neufeld. “With opportunities and things that’s coming, like with Unified this year hosting a lot of shows, so I’m super excited about that, but I’m never looking past Neal.
“He’s the problem I have to solve at hand, but there will definitely be byproducts of doing well here. I’m happy to compete again and get in there and mix it up and get a win, and then we’ll see what comes.”