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Exclusive: Josh Neer released by UFC

Josh NeerWhat began as an impressive third tour of duty in the UFC for Josh Neer has ended in release. Sources closed to the Iowa-based fighter informed early Saturday morning that Neer was let go by the organization shortly after his unanimous decision loss to Gleison Tibau at UFC 104 last Saturday. The defeat was Neer’s second consecutive in the Octagon and his third in his last four fights.

The six-year vet began his career in 2003 and first made his UFC debut in 2005, losing to Drew Fickett via decision at the first-ever UFC Fight Night. After two fights outside of the UFC, he returned in 2006, where he recorded back-to-back wins over veterans of The Ultimate Fighter, Joe Stevenson and Melvin Guillard. However, he would go on to lose fights at UFC 61 and UFC 62 to Josh Burkman and Nick Diaz, respectively.

Following his release after the Diaz fight, Neer compiled a 6-1 record outside of the UFC and returned for his third stint with the promotion at UFC Fight Night 13 on April 2. Facing Din Thomas, Neer improved his lifetime UFC record to 3-3 with a unanimous decision victory. He then followed it up with an impressive performance in a split decision loss to Nate Diaz at UFC Fight Night 15. After the Diaz loss, Neer recovered and submitted season six winner of The Ultimate Fighter Mac Danzig with a triangle choke at 3:36 of round 2 during UFC Fight Night 17.

Following the Danzig victory, Neer’s stock was on the rise. However, it would soon fall after losing to Tibau at UFC 104 and Kurt Pellegrino at UFC 101 before that. With the back-to-back losses, Neer’s record in his last four UFC fights actually fell to 1-3.

A well-rounded fighter who is known as a tough competitor, Neer could possibly return to the UFC a fourth time if he can accumulate 1-2 wins outside of the organization.

  • nope says:

    thats a shame…i always liked watchin Neer fight.

  • RU486 says:

    I don’t understand the mentality of the UFC sometimes. It seems if someone loses a couple of fights they get dropped. Neer was an exciting fighter that always brought it, and all of his fights were epic. Someone has to lose every fight. Not everyone is going to be undefeated, but that seems to be what the UFC is about now. And not good fights. Forrest Griffin has now lost 2 in a row. If he loses to Tito is he going to be cut?

  • MMApride19 says:

    I know, i disagree with the way UFC releases fighters just because they lose fights. Mostly every fighter is going to lose a few times when fighting in the UFC. The competition is high. Its understandable. Fighters shouldnt be judged on wins, but judged on performance. If they are exciting, and can compete at that level, then theres no problem at all. It doesnt matter to me whether they win or lose!!! And im sure many MMA fans feel the same.

  • Sam Caplan says:

    RU, sometimes it becomes a numbers game. Right now the UFC has a LOT of fighters on their roster. They need to keep all those guys active. Additionally, the more fights you accrue in the UFC, the more money you get paid.

    So sometimes when a guy is cut, it’s not an issue of talent but rather whether or not the fighter is competing at a level high enough to justify their pay scale and whether there are enough opportunities to keep a fighter active.

    Neer is a tremendous talent and has really been bringing it lately. My assumption is that with a few wins outside of the UFC, he’ll be brought right back.

  • Makington says:

    Exactly Sam, it’s the same thing that happened to Jorge Gurgel, and Jason McDonald. Both extremely talented fighters, but both gatekeepers who, after losing 2 times in a row, have lost their stock as gatekeepers. I agree completely RU that it’s still unfair to judge 2 losses at this high level of professionalism, but I understand the reasoning behind it. The UFC’s roster has been getting a lot of additions what with Affliction folding, and the season of TUF wrapping up. They simply can’t keep everyone, and theirs more reasoning behind cutting a guy who lost 2 in a row. It’s also kind of a shame that we see this guy leave after 2 losses, where other fighters like Mustapha Al Turk have lost 2 fights and stays on. Josh Neer atleast brings a fight, whereas Al Turk brings a poor performance compiled by a loss.

    Neer is good enough that he can get back into the UFC in about a year, or if he wants he could make an immediate impact on the Strikeforce LW division. I wouldn’t be surprised if he was able to win the Strikeforce belt.

  • Makington says:

    And someone like Forrest, understandably, always has a fight left in the UFC. He is just too popular, and on too good terms with fans to be let go. Like Chuck Liddell as well, they’re just too close with the UFC to fight somewhere else.

  • nope says:

    I get the Money/price logic, but…

    For the Money….I’d take one Exciting Josh Neer over four unproven or unexciting new guys.

  • Paulo says:

    It’s a shame that they cut Neer. The dude was really scrappy, brought it every time, and ALWAYS gave the fans an amazing fight. I would rather they have cut Gleison Tibau with his win rather then Neer with his loss. Tibau did nothing that fight except get the takedown and do nothing with it. Neer has a nasty and active butterfly guard and doesn’t stop fighting from the opening bell to the final bell. Neer should go to Japan where he’ll probably be more liked. the Japanese promotions have it right. They care more about an exciting fight then they do about a win/loss record.

  • HonorableAggression says:

    Honestly, I’ll always put my money up to watch neer fight, there’s plenty on the ufc roster I can’t say that about consistently, so to me, its a loss for the ufc and the fans.

  • dpk says:

    I’m not surprised by this move, UFC has over 50 fighters in the LW division, when you lose 3 of 4 your job is going to be in danger no matter how exciting you are. Another reason UFC lets solid veterans like Neer and Gurgle go is that they can then go to other organizations and essentially serve as gatekeepers, just on someone else’s payroll. If they fight and beat, or get beat by some up and coming prospects, then UFC knows exactly what that prospect is about. I’m sure he won’t be out of work long, he would be attractive to Strikeforce, Dream, or any regional independent organization. He is probably also on the short list of last minute replacements in case someone suffers an injury.

  • bigbadjohn says:

    josh neer is to takedown defense as an ostrich is to flying.

  • xtreme_machine says:

    man that sux

  • Brendhan Conlan says:

    He’ll make a great addition to the Strikeforce roster.

  • Rich S. says:

    It’s different when someone gets cut after 2 or 3 knockout or submission losses..

    But Neer’s fights always have FOTN potential, and when he loses, he never actually gets finished..

    I’m sure he’ll have a great time in another promotion..

  • Jstew3785 says:

    All you ever hear is how Josh Neer doesn’t have boring fights. Well, his last 2 have been boring fights. I would hardly call his fight with Tibau or Pellegrino FOTN material. His last 2 fights were mirror images of each other, you think he’d have learned some takedown defense. He has been in quite a few entertaining fights…. but not lately.

  • hindsightufuk says:

    i can understand it but i’m still gutted. I always root for Josh in a fight and love to watch him fight. While you may think his fight against Pellegrino was boring, it shows how a fighter always has a chance. Josh couldnt stop the take downs, was on his back for three rounds, and in the last 20 seconds dropped Pellegrino with some nice elbows and almost won the fight.

    Personally i would much, much, much rather see the UFC stop giving contracts to most of the recent utter shite TUF cast offs (admit it they are), the ones who couldnt even make it to the fucking semis let alone the finals, the ones the UFC continue to promote just because there name has become popular for looking like a cunt on TV, and keep guys like Josh & Tamdan who may never ever be contenders but given the right match ups are always worth watching. Shit treat him like Lytle, just give him fights that are guarenteed to entertain.

    This has really bugged me. I hope Strikeforce or Dream pick him straight up, tho i have a feeling he will be in some low budget local shows who can only promote their events by having an UFCer as the main event

  • hindsightufuk says:

    i meant having an EX UFCer

  • hindsightufuk says:

    just to further annoy me i looked at all the recent wages from UFC 104.
    Gleison Tibau 19000
    great submission grappler but shit boring to watch (ufc 6-4)
    Yoshiyuki Yoshida 12000
    maybe the smallest WW in the UFC? )ufc 2-2)
    Eric Schafer 13000
    again a really solid submission grappler, but mostly shit bornnig to watch (ufc 5-3)
    Rob Kimmons 9000
    i actually dont have anything to say about him (ufc 1-2)
    Razak Al-Hassan 3000 (still too much for this mutt)
    learn to tap, fuck him (ufc 0-2)
    Chase Gormley 10000
    i dont know enough about him other than he’s ugly, but i’m guessing he gets to lose once more in the UFC before he goes (0-1)

    so my point, cut all the above, keeo Josh, you’ve saved some money.

  • hindsightufuk says:

    yes i have some time on my hands, its halloween and all the cunt kids on my estate keep chucking shit at my house

  • captchaos says:

    I’m a 1st time poster… Here we go! Neer is a very very tough guy and if there were no rounds and time limits he would skyrocket up my ladder in the rankings. Unfortunately there are. I personally like watching him cause he always brings it but he’s never gonna be a top contender. He doesn;’t have the skill, athleticism, or strength. Someone said “would they cut Forrest after 3 losses?” those 2 fighters are in a different league. Forrest is 1 of the most popular and the former champ. Neer is a journeyman fighter with little name recognition to the casual fan. That division uis stacked with fighters. Let’s make room for others…

    PS… I am excited to be a part of the FiveOuncesofPain group!!!!!!!!!!!

  • submit662266 says:

    I agree cap. If a fighter sells ppv, they can lose quite a bit and not be released. Forrest, Tito, W. Silva, Chuck, and even Couture will never be cut.

    UFC is first and foremost a business. We will be seeing a fighter as bad as Kimbo for some time to come, but Neer will need to find work elsewhere.

  • BiG BaD BuLL says:

    look back at when stephan bonnar fought johnny bones. when bonnar was walking back to the locker rooms with dana, stephan kept apologizing and saying how physically strong jones was. dana slapped him on the back and said “don’t worry. you started this with me; you’re not going anywhere. i agree with submit and capt… some fighters will simply never be cut.

  • Angry Mike says:

    I’ve got a real problem with cutting Neer after his loss to Tibau. Tibau couldn’t make weight, and by the time of the fight he’d rehydrated. By the looks of him, he was closer to 170 than 155. Tibau took Neer down repeatedly but didn’t inflict any damage because Neer was defending pretty well from his guard. When they were standing I thought Neer was winning the striking exchanges. Tough break for Neer. I hope he’s back soon.

  • Makington says:

    Neer missed weight too, so you know. Tibau was also landing some of the most vicious take downs I’ve seen in a while. I thought he might have broken Neer’s neck during the first one.

  • Jstew3785 says:

    Tibau looked like a LHW man. He is the largest lightweight I’ve ever seen. I guarantee you he was at least 180-185lbs when he rehydrated.

  • edub says:

    Tibau is an absolute Giant for LW. I would venture to say he was bigger than 185 in that fight Jstew. He looked a good 15 lbs bigger than neer who was probably at least 170 by fight time.

    I dont have an argument to save Neer. I always brings it when he fights, but it almost seems like his wrestling has deteriorated in his latest ufc stint. Id say 1 or 2 wins and he gets back in but only if he can show some type of improvement in td defense. The gatekeeper is a revolving position so there will be someone there to take his spot.

    As for next up for Tibau put him in with someone like Pellegrino or miller and you’ll see him get outted again as nothing more than a prospect.

  • CMT says:

    What, Forrest lost to Tito and was cut from the UFC?? Say it ain’t so! Oh yeah, he just ran out of the ring, he will be back.


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