Bellator 129 Fight Breakdown: Josh Neer vs. Paul Bradley

josh-neer The main event of Bellator 129 is a three-round welterweight bout between Josh Neer and Paul Bradley. According to the current betting lines available at Several Bookmakers, Neer is a -170 favorite (bet $170 to win $100) while Bradley is a +130 underdog (bet $100 to win $130). MMA linesetter Nick Kalikas opened up Bradley at -135 and Neer at -105, and the betting public is on Neer so far. This is a tough fight to call but I do lean towards Bradley, especially as a plus-money underdog. Here’s why. Neer (36-13-1) is one of the most well-travelled welterweights in MMA. He has fought in basically every promotion there is and has fought many of the best fighters at 170lbs and 155lbs in the world, including Nick Diaz, Nate Diaz and Josh Burkman. He doesn’t have a ton of big wins in his career, having mostly lost when stepping up in competition, but has beaten the likes of Duane Ludwig, Mac Danzig, Din Thomas, TJ Waldburger, Joe Stevenson and Melvin Guillard. In total, he has 18 wins by knockout and 14 by submission, meaning he’s a true finisher. While he is only 31 years old, he has been in the sport so long and his body and have has taken a lot of punishment, although somehow he’s only been knocked out twice. For this fight, Neer is returning to Bellator after a four-year absence, having lost to Eddie Alvarez in a “Bellator super fight” back in 2010. Since then, Neer has been very inconsistent, but in general he has beat the guys he was supposed to beat and lost to the guys he was supposed to lose to. He’s an exciting fighter, fairly durable, and a veteran of the sport. I don’t agree with him being in a main event, but considering he is from Iowa I understand it from a local MMA angle. Neer is a finisher and if he can land on Bradley he has a chance to win, and I think based on his level of competition the betting public thinks he can win, although I don’t necessarily agree. Bradley (21-6, 1 NC) is a very solid wrestler, having been a two-time All-American at the University of Iowa, and those skills have transferred over well to MMA so far. A former UFC and Strikeforce veteran, he is now 31 years old and is trying to carve out a niche for himself in Bellator. He is 1-1 so far in the promotion with a win over Karl Amoussou and a loss to Nathan Coy. Bradley more or less is a top-control grinder with some decent ground and pound and some average submission ability. However, his standup is basically non-existent. He is not very exciting to watch, but he usually gets the job done. I don’t think Bradley is going to be winning any titles in Bellator anytime soon, but I think he can beat mid-level talent such as Neer and I was surprised when the line was flipped and Bradley became an underdog after he was opened as a favorite. If the fight stays standing I would give Neer the edge, and he definitely has some submission ability and could win that way too. However, I believe Bradley is a far superior wrestler and I think he will be able to get enough takedowns during the 15 minutes to seal a decision win on the judges’ scorecards. At +130, I do slightly favor Bradley and I would consider a very small bet on him, but it’s not that confident and I wouldn’t go crazy on him here. But I do think he should be the favorite, and I can’t blame anyone for making a value play on Bradley as the dog.

Written by Adam Martin.

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