Bellator MMA comes live from the Mid-America Center in Council Bluffs, IA to your TV screens this weekend with another dose of exciting Bellator MMA action. Welterweights Josh Neer and Paul Bradley will headline the card, and both men are looking to deliver big in this one.

Heading into Bellator 129, Neer rides a three-fight winning streak. after entering the UFC in three separate runs, all of which saw him on a winning streak before going 2-3 in each of those three separate stints, and subsequently, receiving his walking papers.

The now 21-6 (1 NC) Bradley, a former cast member of season seven of The Ultimate Fighter, came into the UFC back when he was just 18-2 (1 NC) professionally, but lost bouts to Rafael Natal and Mike Pierce before being released from the promotion. Since then, Bradley has gone on a 3-2 run, with a win over Karl Amoussou sandwiched in between a 2012 defeat in the CFA, and his most recent fight, a unanimous-decision loss to Nathan Coy at Bellator 112.

Striking

Both men can throw hands like nobody’s business, but they do so in different ways. Bradley owns seven wins by TKO, predominantly due to him finding finishes with his punches, and Bradley has also shown a willingness to stand in the pocket with his opponent. In contrast, Neer owns half of his pro wins by some form of a knockout, with some of the wins being recorded as clear-cut knockouts due to either punches or knees. That diversity easily pays dividends, especially if Neer imposes his will early.

Advantage – Neer

Wrestling

While Neer does train with the likes of Jake Shields,the Diaz brothers, and other vaunted grapplers at the Cesar Gracie Jiu-Jitsu Academy, Neer’s wrestling should not be overlooked, as he has been wrestling from a young age. Still, Bradley is a former NCAA Division-I All-American and a former Big 10 Conference competitor, securing his Big 10 and NCAA accomplishments at the University of Iowa. Though he had trouble taking down the likes of Rafael Natal and others, Neer isn’t Natal, and remains as susceptible to getting taken down as anyone else.

Advantage – Bradley

Submissions

In this fight, it feels appropriate to bring up “the sevens” with Bradley, as he owns seven (T)KO wins, seven submission wins, and seven decision wins. With Bradley’s powerful wrestling game, it feels natural to believe he may top the 50-fight veteran Neer. In contrast, Neer’s experience also gives him a chance to submit Bradley if he leaves an opening. On the defensive side of things, Neer owns five losses by submission while Bradley has never tapped out or passed out.

Advantage – Even

Cardio/Conditioning

Both men always show up in shape and prepared to go the distance because they understand the game well enough to know that not every foe will get stopped or tap out Additionally, they both have only three knockout losses between them and own 11 of their pro losses by some form of decision, Neer’s lone draw notwithstanding. With Bradley looking to return to form and Neer hungry for his first Bellator win, it’s anyone’s guess about what can happen if this one goes all the way.

Advantage – Even

Official Prediction

Between each of his three UFC runs, Neer accumulated a winning streak, lost a fight, and then posted another slew of wins. With a second chance to make a big statement in Bellator MMA, he will not look to disappoint, but Bradley will not go down easily. He will battle Neer tooth-and-nail to get himself back in the win column. Neer will have some fits with Bradley’s style, but ultimately, he gets the better end of a split-decision win.

About The Author

Dale De Souza
Staff Writer

Dale De Souza is a 22-year-old kid straight out of Texas, who grew up around Professional Wrestling but embraced the beauty of Mixed Martial Arts and Combat Sports at a young age. Dale is a Featured Columnist at Bleacher Report MMA, a writer at The MMA Corner.