Fight Forecast: Josh Neer vs. Justin Edwards
The UFC continues its free television run this upcoming Friday with UFC on FX: Browne vs. Bigfoot. The event features eleven bouts broadcasted across three different media outlets.
The first fight of the night will be broadcasted on Facebook, with the following six fights shown on Fuel TV (another fight was set to be shown on Facebook as well; however, Dennis Hallman weighed in at seven pounds over and his bout with Thiago Tavares was cancelled). The main card contains four fights that will be broadcasted on FX beginning at 8 PM ET.
Kicking off the FX broadcast is a welterweight bout between, Americans, Josh Neer and Justin Edwards.
At age 29, Josh Neer enters the fight with an impressive 33-11-1 record (6-7 inside the UFC). He began his professional career in 2003, amassing a 13-1-1 record prior to his UFC debut in ’05. His only loss leading up to the fight was a split decision to Spencer Fisher in a five, five minute, round fight.
Neer lost his UFC debut to Drew Fickett by way of a rear naked choke, and spent his following three fights outside of the company. He eventually earned what would be his second of four stints in the UFC that equated to straight wins over Melvin Gullard and Joe Stevenson followed by straight losses to Josh Burkman and Nick Diaz.
His third run within the company came after seven fights and lasted five bouts (wins over Din Thomas and Mac Danzig, and, losses to Nate Diaz, Kurt Pellegrino and Gleison Tibau).
His current stint with the company was earned after winning, and defending, the Shark Fights Interim Welterweight Championship. Within this run, Neer has built up two wins over Keith Wisniewski and Duane Ludwig prior to, most recently, losing to Mike Pyle in June by way of a superb knockout punch.
He is certainly looking to rebound, and stay on the roster, against Justin Edwards this Friday.
Also at age 29, Edwards enters the bout with thirty-six less fights. He owns a professional record of 7-2 (1-2 inside the UFC), with a win over Jorge Lopez and losses to John Maguire and Clay Harvison. All three fights went to a decision.
Leading up to his debut, Edwards was introduced to UFC fans as a replacement fighter in The Ultimate Fighter: Team Lesnar vs. Team dos Santos. He was eliminated in his first fight against, eventual winner, Tony Ferguson by way of a vicious up-kick that resulted in a ninety day medical suspension.
Prior to his entrance into The Ultimate Fighter house, Edwards amassed a 6-0 record. His six wins came by way of a TKO and five straight submissions.
Neer certainly enters the bout as the favorite, having twenty more finish victories than Edwards has fights. Edwards has never lost a fight by being finished, and has proved to be a tough opponent in both of his losses.
Both fighters are coming off of a loss, and both probably feel that they are in the dreaded ‘win or be cut’ situation. This should make for an exciting bout.
Neer will most likely be the aggressor, and will push the pace as the experienced fighter. The fight has the potential to change levels at a fast pace – with Neer holding the reigns. As the fight wears on, Neer may be able to secure a solid position on the ground, resulting in a TKO, or submission victory; however, Edwards has shown in his short career that he can do enough to avoid not going the distance.
Edwards appears to be outmatched in this bout, and will need to get lucky during a transition to the ground to gain any advantage. Likewise, anyone has a puncher’s chance, but, Neer’s experience should make that feat very complicated – especially after being defeated by Pyle in such fashion.
Look for the two to fight like this may be their final appearance on national television, and expect Neer’s experience to aid in his victory.
Josh Neer over Justin Edwards via Unanimous Decision.