Geoff Neal made his UFC debut this past weekend at UFC Fight Night Austin, defeating Brian Camozzi by first round submission.
The fighter had some financial issues leading into the fight and used a UFC issued per diem to pay his rent.
“I really need it (bonuses),” Neal told MMA Junkie. “I’m trying to be a full-time fighter. I work full-time at Texas Roadhouse, struggle to make ends meet. I actually used the per diem that they gave us to pay my rent – used all that (expletive). It’s been a struggle for me. I’m just glad I made it to this point. I was at the tail end of my bank account. I’ve probably got like $50 left in there right now. It’s a sacrifice. You’ve got to risk it for the biscuit.”
A per diem is a set amount of money each fighter is given by the UFC to spend on whatever they choose to do so on while participating at a UFC event.
Despite past issues leading into his UFC debut, a confident Neal knows that a lot of hard work is ahead of him.
“I’m trying to stay in a state of calm,” he said. “I’m not trying to let this overwhelm me right now. Yes, I won my UFC debut, but it’s on to the next. There are a lot of tough dudes at 170. I can’t get complacent and comfortable.”
Neal earned his way into the UFC after competing on Dana White’s Tuesday Night Contender Series Episode 3, defeating Chase Waldon by first round TKO.