TSC Interviews: TUF 14 alum Dustin Neace on UFC experience, Akira Corassani, Mayhem vs. Bisping, and MMA future
"The Ultimate Fighter 14" alum talks MMA with The Sports Courier.
Photo Credit: Spike TV/Viacom Media Networks
At just 25 years of age, MMA fighter Dustin "The Beast" Neace already has 42 professional fights under his belt.
This past year, Neace earned the opportunity of a lifetime to be a part of "The Ultimate Fighter 14: Team Bisping vs. Team Miller" cast--the first season to showcase the bantamweight and featherweight classes. While Neace did not get the end result he wanted, he gained valuable experience and worldwide exposure, as he looks to progress his MMA career.
Neace spoke to The Sport Courier about his TUF experience, getting back to the UFC, his feud with Akira Corassani, Herb Dean's blown calls, as well as his MMA future.
Fast Facts about Dustin Neace:
- Professional MMA record 23-18-1
- "The Ultimate Fighter 14" alum
- Notable wins over Johnny Bedford (twice) and Corey Mahon
What was it like being in "The Ultimate Fighter" house in Las Vegas, being seemingly cut off from the world with no Internet, cell phones, and communication to your loved ones for six weeks?
You're pretty much cut off from everything in the house. You're in a house with a bunch of people you don't know. It's kind of frustrating.
How was it fighting in the Mandalay Bay Events Center to get into the house?
It was kind of difficult because they didn't tell us for sure if we were fighting or not. They kept saying "maybe...maybe not." I had to figure out if I was gonna have to cut weight and it was frustrating because I didn't know if I was actually gonna fight. Fighting at the venue was a great experience itself, but leading up to that, it was very frustrating.
You didn't know about fighting until the last couple of days?
Yes, until the very last moment.
How did you feel when you finally earned a spot in the house, considering hundreds to thousands of fighters try out for TUF every year?
It was an amazing feeling. It's lifelong dream for fighters to get that opportunity. I got kind of choked up after my fight to get in the house and soaked up the moment. I was just so happy. I was ecstatic.
Your TUF coach Jason "Mayhem" Miller came off great on Season 14. What are your thoughts of him as a coach?
Mayhem was an amazing coach. He's a very knowledgable guy. He's fought everywhere and fought big names. He came in and brought so much knowledge to our team. I was very happy to be a part of Team Miller. But Michael Bisping [as a coach]....(laughs)...He wasn't a great coach at all. He didn't show up at the right times for team events like weigh-ins. He was just a bad coach to be honest with you. I'm happy I wasn't on his team.
What are your thoughts on the UFC adding the flyweight (125lb) division, considering you had a few natural 125lbers on Season 14?
We had three guys that are natural flyweights--Josh Ferguson, Louis Gaudinot, and TUF bantamweight winner John Dodson. They walk around at a lighter weight than most bantamweights do. Once that division opens up, they're gonna jump right in and control it. They already made a name for themselves on Spike TV. I think once Dodson starts fighting in that division, he's gonna dominate. There's tough fighters in that division like Demetrious Johnson and Joseph Benavidez, but for the most part, our TUF season set that weight class up with Ferguson, Gaudinot, and Dodson.