Gavin Neil Turns Career Corner
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.”