UFC welterweight Geoff Neal was arrested by police in Collin County, TX over Thanksgiving and charged with a misdemeanor DWI and unlawful carrying of a weapon. He was booked into jail and later released on a $2,000 bond.
Neal is scheduled to face Santiago Ponzinibbio at UFC 268 on December 11. And, according to ESPN, Neal’s spot on the card has not been threatened by news of this arrest.
That outlet reports the UFC are aware of the arrest and have decided not to pull Neal from the card. “The organization has been in communication with him and is in the process of gathering more details,” read a statement to ESPN. “Neal’s bout at UFC 269 on December 11th remains as scheduled.”
Brandon Barnett, Neal’s Attorney, also spoke to ESPN. He said that Neal volunteered for a blood test when he was arrested and that he believes those results will show he was not over the legal blood-alcohol limit.
Neal’s attorney also said that the fighter had a legally licensed firearm in his car when he was stopped. He said that the weapon charge only exists because the weapon was present during the event of an alleged crime (driving while intoxicated). Barnett said if Neal’s blood test proves he was under the limit both the DWI and gun charge will be dropped.
The blood test results are expected to come back within six to eight weeks.
Neal got his big break on Dana White’s Contender Series in 2017, defeating Chase Waldon by first round TKO. He has gone on to fight six more times for the promotion.
Among his notable victories are wins over Belal Muhammad, Niko Price and Mike Perry (by headkick TKO).
Last December Neal appeared in his first UFC main event, versus Stephen Thompson. He lost to ‘Wonderboy’ by unanimous decision. Neal’s most recent fight was against Neil Magny at UFC on ESPN: Rodriguez vs. Waterson in May. He lost that bout by unanimous decision.