Ben Neumann has a plan for 2017 and it starts with a victory over Damien Hill on Friday night.
Things have been going well for Ben Neumann since making the jump to welterweight. He is now 4-1 in the division and working his way towards a shot at LFA welterweight title. He is set to take on Damien Hill who’s making his first appearance at 170. For Neumann it is simple if he doesn’t win then he doesn’t deserve the title shot, period.
“it should be a favourable match-up for me. If I don’t win this fight I probably don’t deserve to be moving up to the next spot,” Neumann said. “He is a good guy, but I am a little bigger, I am used to fighting in the bigger weight class, I am a grappler and he is a striker so it’s a fight I should be winning, hopefully, I still have to go out there and perform, you always have to perform. He does hit hard, he’s knocked out some tough guys, so there is always that threat.”
A win over Hill would put his plan in motion. The next step, a welterweight title shot and Neumann already has a destination in mind.
“I believe in May they’re planning on coming back to Minneapolis, the cities here, so if I get a solid win here, maybe that puts me in place for a title shot or very close to it in May,” Neumann said. “I would love to maybe work my way up to headlining that card. I have to get a real solid win, put on a bit of a show next Friday and I think that will put me in place to make a solid headliner for the welterweight title, which I believe is vacant right now… so I think they need a title holder and I am the guy to fight for it.”
The LFA is a grooming ground and a hotbed of talent for the UFC to pick from. One sure way to separate from the pack is to win the LFA title. If Neumann’s plan plays out perfectly by the start of 2018 he will be making his octagon debut.
“That is my actual goal, that is what I am shooting for this next year,” Neumann said. “It seems like – especially the way LFA has been merged now – if you can get that title shot with LFA and either get the title, or defend it once that is almost like a guaranteed shot to the UFC. That is kind of my path right now. I think I still need to show that I can be a title holder, but I think if I get that I am ready for those guys.”
LFA 2 takes place January 20, at the Mystic Lake Casino & Hotel in Prior Lake, Minnesota. The card is headlined by Bellator vet Mike Richman and power puncher Lazar Stojadinovic.