Neil turns career corner; Mentally progressing, ZUMA product now focused on physical improvement

Gavin Neil would have to be considered among the MFC’s most promising prospects, having already amassed a solid 8-1 record over the course of his career.

There’s still plenty of work to do, yet the Victoria, British Columbia, native has taken an important step in the process of becoming a real contender.

“I think he’s turned a mental corner,” noted trainer Adam Zugec of his ZUMA product who is known to many MFC fans as “Forrest” for his Gump-like demeanor.

“Honestly, I’ve been waiting forever for it to come. He’s become a real different person in the gym because he’s really started to believe in himself … there’s just so much more self-confidence. I’m excited to see how it’s going to affect him because I think he could be very dangerous.”

As soft-spoken and unassuming as he is, Neil certainly did prove to be dangerous against veteran Richie Hightower at MFC 25 back in May. A crushing left hook floored Hightower and Neil pounced, ultimately forcing Hightower to tap just moments later under the weight of a rear-naked choke. It was Neil’s sixth win in seven fights under the MFC banner and moved him a step closer to the upper echelon of the MFC’s 155-pound division.

Having already proven himself against a wave of up-and-comers – wins over Alain Hernandez, Evan Sanguin, and Jason Zorthian all coming inside the first round – the victory over Hightower showed Neil is ready for more seasoned opposition. That is all part of Zugec’s grand game plan for his likeable lightweight.

“He’s really gained a lot of confidence off that last fight and now I think he’s really found a groove,” said Zugec.

With that mental corner turned, the next curve to negotiate is a physical one.

“I need to get him a tanning salon sponsor,” laughed Zugec. “He does need to put on some muscle so we’re going to build on his frame. Gavin wants to fight three times a year and now we’ll just wait to see who the next fight is going to be against. But we’ll be ready and Gavin is going to take another big step.”

About William Smith

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