Competing on a card stacked with four epic title bouts, it’s easy for the debuting Paul Bradley to fly under the radar. Stepping into the Decagon for the very first time, Bradley faces no walk in the park as he squares off against the skilled veteran, Yushin Okami. Before these two mammoth middleweights do battle, check out these 10 things you need to know about “The Gentleman.”
He Was an All-American Wrestler at the University of Iowa
Considering he’s a Steelers fan and enjoyed a successful wrestling career at the University of Iowa, it appears the colors of black and gold have been good for “The Gentleman.” Competing in one of the toughest conferences for wrestling, Bradley would earn All-American honors twice.
He Enters the Decagon Coming off a Win
It’s rare to see a fighter switch from one major promotion to another with their last fight being a win. However, that’s exactly where Bradley finds himself. He’ll debut in the Decagon, fresh off the biggest win of his career, a TKO finish of the highly-touted prospect, Chris Honeycutt.
His Record Embodies the Term MMA
In the old days, fighters could get away with being specialized in one aspect of fighting. Now, with the sport continuing to evolve, it’s paramount for fighters to be comfortable in all areas of fighting. Although Bradley comes from a strong wrestling base, his record shows that he can finish fighters with both his striking and submission grappling. 15 of Bradley’s 23 victories have come via knockout or submission.
He was on The Ultimate Fighter
Set to appear on the seventh season of the popular MMA reality show, Bradley defeated Reggie Orr to gain entry into the house. However, Bradley’s stint would only last three episodes as just after being picked to be on Team Rampage, Bradley was removed from the show. Despite winning his entry fight and being picked third overall to join Team Rampage, Bradley was found to have a contagious skin infection. This lead to him being replaced on the show and ultimately finding his way to the Decagon.
Bradley Is a Fighter That Gives Back to the Community
MMA is often described as a selfish sport. However, there are a few fighters that look to give back as much as they take in this grueling sport. Bradley happens to be one of those through his wrestling club, Ultimate Warrior Wrestling Club. UWWC kids wrestling program provides training for elementary kids all the way up to high school athletes.
He’s Consistently Faced Top Competition
Outside of his initial run in MMA, Bradley has consistently found himself against some of the best fighters in the world. Former champions like Luke Rockhold, Nathan Coy and notable fighters like Rafael Natal and Mike Pearce are just some of the names Bradley has stepped into the cage to face. Competing against quality opponents will undoubtedly set him up for a successful run in the WSOF middleweight division.
He’s a Pittsburgh Steelers Fan
Taking an interest in sports outside of fist-fighting, Bradley is a big fan of the Steelers. You can catch him posting his thoughts across social media every Sunday during football season.
Bradley is Comfortable in the Underdog Role
Despite his accomplishments and tenure in MMA, it’s safe to say that Bradley isn’t a household name just yet. That has lead him to be an underdog in some of his recent fights outside of the WSOF. Whereas others may have crumbled under the weight of being a sizable underdog, Bradley thrived in that situation by taking out Honeycutt in his last outing. When Honeycutt began his transition to MMA, he was considered one of the best prospects coming into the sport. However, Bradley effectively put a halt to the Honeycutt hype train in just 40 seconds.
He’s a Member of Team Alliance
While the gym may not always receive the recognition it deserves, Team Alliance has seen countless elite fighters step on the mats. The most recognizable name is of course, Dominick Cruz. Other stars such as Phil Davis, Alexander Gustafsson and Cat Zingano have all sharpened their skills while training with Team Alliance. With so many top fighters around, it’s no secret as to why Bradley has enjoyed such a successful MMA career.
Bradley has Proven to be an Incredibly Durable Fighter
Very few fighters enjoy lengthy careers in MMA. Outside of the best of the best, fighting careers tend to fizzle out just as quickly as they begin. However, that cannot be said of Bradley. The All-American wrestler has been competing in professional MMA for over 10 years. During that 10 year run, Bradley has only been finished once. And that was by the aforementioned Rockhold. That’s quite an impressive run considering the length of his career and quality of opponents.