Call Josh Neer whatever you want, he’s heard it all before – just don’t call him a boring fighter – that, the eight-year mixed martial arts veteran says, would be crossing the line.
“That’s one thing I’ve never been called, is boring. A lot of people go in to win by decision. I’ve never been that kind of fighter, which is why people like to see me fight. Even before the UFC started handing out bonuses, I was always looking to finish the fight by knockout or submission,” Neer says. “If you’re just going to go in and hold your opponent down to win a fight, no one is going to want to see you fight. People pay good money to watch you fight; the least you can do is put on a good show for them and bang it out. A lot of guys don’t want to do that; they just want to take the easy way out.”
The path of Neer’s career, much like his life outside of the cage has been a precarious one the past few years, but the twisting and turning road he forged, although rocky at times, has righted itself and is now on a level straight and narrow.
Last month he pled guilty to DUI and felony eluding police charges stemming from a much-publicized New Year’s Eve arrest. The 26-year-old dodged a bullet when a seven-year prison sentence handed down by the judge in the case was later withdrawn. Instead of prison time, Neer was put on two-year probation – a second chance not unlike the one he was given in 2008 when he re-signed with the UFC after being given his walking papers by the organization in 2006 due to his less-than-stellar 2-3 Octagon record.
As he did with his recent UFC return, Neer affirms that he will make the best of the leg up given to him by the courts.
“I put the incident behind me and now I’m concentrating on my career. I want to go out and put on good performances and win fights,” says Neer. “If I can keep doing that, opportunities will come.”
The next opportunity to present itself for Neer, whose UFC career includes wins over former number one lightweight contender Joe Stevenson and The Ultimate Fighter Season 6 winner Mac Danzig, comes on October 24 when he squares off against American Top Team product Gleison Tibau at UFC 104 at Staples Center in Los Angeles, CA.
Besides shifting the focus of his training back to his wrestling roots and bringing in his boxing coach for more technique training, Neer says he isn’t doing anything much different to prepare for the Brazilan jiu-jitsu black belt.
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