‘Neck guy’ combats neckativity with MMA, Pensacola Island Fights
By Danielle Brown
Charles Dion McDowell, the center of the biggest Facebook roast because of the size of his neck, was recruited by Island Fights CEO Dean Toole to train for a bout in Pensacola.
McDowell would be considered an amateur in the boxing and MMA field, but he and Toole believe this opportunity could turn his life around.
“He hasn’t made some of the best choices,” Toole told the Pensacola News Journal. “So, maybe, something like this will be a good step in the right direction towards something positive.”
McDowell’s mugshot went viral after it was posted on the Escambia County Sheriff Office’s Facebook page and shared more than 265,000 times. Faced with five drug charges and one charge for running from police, McDowell had a bond of $57,000 on Nov. 13.
Once he posted bail, McDowell was arrested the necks week in Lee County, Alabama with another drug charge among others including attempting to elude police and driving with a revoked license. McDowell was held in Lee County Detention Center in Opelika before posting his $5,400 bond the same morning of his arrest.
Upon his release, he posted a video to his Instagram page thanking his fans for reaching out to him. He posted a separate video with a friend and managed to make a connecktion with an audience of 46,000 people.
“Shout out to all the females who ever gave me a chance,” McDowell said.
Several of McDowell’s past mugshots surfaced after people started to question whether the picture posted on Facebook had been photoshopped. His videos on Instagram and videos of him boxing provide proof that he just has an unusually thick neck.
McDowell has a rivalry with a man on social media known as ‘Daddy Long Neck’ and they shared a live video on Instagram where ‘Daddy Long Neck’ was making threats at McDowell who said he’s done talking and is ready to meet. The two continued to bash each other’s appearance in the video, but the insults were neck and neck.
On Nov. 23, McDowell posted a picture to his Facebook account about taking his image to the necks level by competing in the Island Fights competition in either Feb. or April 2019.
The post read, “for all you people that didn’t know, I’ve been training MMA and will be making my debut real soon!”
Toole believes the Island Fights experience could be a positive influence on McDowell even if he doesn’t fight and assuming he doesn’t stick his neck out and get caught a third time.
“Even if he doesn’t compete, maybe this will all work out for the better for him and he won’t make those same choices again,” Toole said.
Island Fights is held at the Pensacola Bay Center and has hosted notable fighter such as Roy Jones Jr. In the 2019 competition, Island Fights 51 plans to host UFC CEO Dana White and have NFL player Greg Hardy on the fight card.