The UFC welterweight was detained on the morning of Nov. 25 for driving while intoxicated and unlawful carry of weapon and later released on bail.
“No comments on what really went down,” Neal said during the UFC 269 media day. “I haven’t been charged with any crime yet.
“Pretty much they had probable cause, and instead of doing the Breathalyzer, I chose to do the blood [test]. So I’m waiting on the results to come back on that and we’ll go from there.”
Police can still arrest a person under suspicion of driving while intoxicated and typically speaking a blood test is more accurate than a Breathalyzer test but the results take longer to be returned.
That’s exactly what Neal is facing now following his arrest.
As for the circumstances surrounding the situation, Neal promises that he wasn’t somehow neglecting his training camp or that drinking is problematic for him but rather this was an isolated incident.
“It was just a one night thing,” Neal said. “Just decided to kick back and relax with my girlfriend. Had a few drinks and then there’s a situation that happened and then cops got involved. I did have my weapon on me. My weapon, it’s legal. It’s licensed in my name. They made it look like I had a MAC-10 in my lap, driving around drunk or something.
“It’s not as serious as they make it out to be. It’s not like I was drunk off my ass, hungover, just running the streets. It was a one-time thing.”
Of course, Neal being arrested and facing questions about a potential DUI and weapons charge is probably the last thing he wanted to deal with leading up to a fight but he offered no excuse for his behavior.
“Not really [a distraction],” Neal said. “It is what it is. I’m the dumbass that did that so I’ve got to deal with it.”
When it comes to the matchup itself against Ponzinibbio while also coming into the night off two straight losses, Neal expects nothing less than a war and he’s not putting any extra pressure on himself to win than any other fight during his career.
“That’s how I see it. Potential Fight of the Night or potential Performance of the Night,” Neal said. “It’s going to go either way.
“I feel like it’s a ‘I will win’ type of moment. I’m going to win this fight. It’s a must win, whatever, who cares. I’m just here living in the moment. I’ve just got to get this job done.”