Geoff Neal may have recently been arrested on a DWI and weapons charge, but he is not letting that distract him from his fight at UFC 269.
It was recently reported that Neal had been arrested in the early hours of Thanksgiving Day and was facing misdemeanor charges of DWI and unlawful carrying of a weapon. While he was released on bail several hours later, this did cause a bit of concern about the future of his UFC 269 fight with Santiago Ponzinibbio, which was scheduled to take place just 16 days after his arrest.
Now it has become clear that Neal will still fight at UFC 269 and was tasked with speaking to media ahead of this contest. Here, he opened up about what happened for the first time since his arrest. He did not want to comment much on the specifics but cleared the air on some issues.
“Pretty much they had probable cause, and instead of doing the Breathalyzer, I chose to do the blood [test]. So I’m waiting on the results to come back on that and we’ll go from there.”
As far as the weapons charges go, Geoff Neal explained the gun found with him was registered to him legally. He felt that the reports about the situation were somewhat misleading, and were blowing things out of proportion.
“It was just a one-night thing,” Neal said. “Just decided to kick back and relax with my girlfriend. Had a few drinks and then there’s a situation that happened and then cops got involved. I did have my weapon on me. My weapon, it’s legal. It’s licensed in my name. They made it look like I had a MAC-10 in my lap, driving around drunk or something.
“It’s not as serious as they make it out to be. It’s not like I was drunk off my ass, hungover, just running the streets. It was a one-time thing.”
That said, there are fans of Geoff Neal, who may be concerned about his focus on training ahead of this fight, considering how far along he was in training camp when being arrested for a DWI. He assures that there is no reason to be concerned and that it was a one-time thing that was not indicative of how hard he trained.
“Not really [a distraction],” Neal said. “It is what it is. I’m the dumbass that did that so I’ve got to deal with it.”
Geoff Neal will be returning to action this weekend against Santiago Ponzinibbio at UFC 269. Only then will fans be able to tell what impact, if any, this incident has had on him.
Watch his full media scrum below: