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Josh Neer.

Neer: Hype is hype and the TUF guys have a lot of it!

August-03-09
Josh Neer talks about his upcoming bout with Kurt Pellegrino and recent wins over the likes of Mac Danzig.

Interview

Josh Neer had flown largely under the radar in the UFC until his win over Mac Danzig in February, despite competing in the Octagon eight times. Danzig brought the fanfare of ‘The Ultimate Fighter’ with him after winning the sixth series of the show. It was a bout in which many thought Danzig held the upper hand in but ‘The Dentist ‘saw it differently.

“Everybody made a big deal about the win but, honestly, I didn't think it was that big,” announced the Iowa native. “He's never beaten anyone that was that great. Din Thomas was a big win. I just didn't feel like it [a win over Danzig] was that great. Hype is hype and guys on TUF have a ton of it.”

Not impressed by Danzig’s credentials, Neer worked diligently to get into the UFC and amassed a 13-1-1 record to get his first shot on the inaugural fight night, his only loss in that time frame coming to Spencer Fisher. Neer lost to Drew Fickett and went off to pick up a couple of wins outside of the organisation before being herded back in, beating Melvin Guillard and former title challenger Joe Stevenson. Again, he was tasted defeat to Nick Diaz and Josh Burkmann but his iron will saw him win six of his next seven to return to the top, where he stands today.

The next man on his list is Kurt ‘Batman’ Pellegrino, a man who also holds a win over Danzig in his first professional fight and has matching UFC experience; eight fights inside the Octagon walls. Pellegrino is an opponent Neer believes will prove to be a tough test.

“Kurt is a tough fight,” stated Neer. “I think one of the more dangerous guys, if not the most dangerous guy, I've fought.” That is a compliment when you look at some of the aforementioned opponents on Neer’s resume.

With the lightweight division unfolding around him, there are many potentially great fights for Neer out there, Pellegrino included. As the lightweights consistently pick up ‘Fight of the Night’ awards for the high-octane action, Neer believes there are a certain set of guys that would make for great fights. “Tyson griffin, Diego [Sanchez], and [Clay] Guida would all be entertaining fights,” he mused.

And the title picture?

“At first I thought Florian but now I'm thinking BJ,” he answered. “I think the shorter the fight is, BJ will have the advantage and the longer the fight goes, Florian will.”

Content with fighting and beating good opponents, his standing in the division is not something Neer cares for, stating that he ‘doesn’t care where a win puts him’, he’s happy to be in the world’s biggest organisation and fighting for the fans.

Neer just loves to fight and the Des Moines MMA product has had a prolific record, fighting seven bouts in 2004, nine in 2005, five in 2006 and six in 2007. Now he has cemented his place in the UFC though, he is happy for the rest they give him.

“I like to fight a lot but when you get to this level it's not bad to take breaks. It takes so much out of you after a fight to turn around and get motivated to fight another killer two months later. Ideally I'd like to fight 3 times a year.”

With this, his second bout of 2009, expect a war between ‘The Dentist’ and ‘Batman’ at UFC 101 which features the title tilt between BJ Penn and Kenny Florian.

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