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Steve Cofield

Neer overwhelming in early Fight of the Year candidate

Steve Cofield
Cagewriter

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Josh Neer got himself into serious legal troubles on New Year's Day. Would it be a distraction? Absolutely not against Mac Danzig. It appeared Neer used it as motivation with his back was against the wall. The UFC could easily cut him if he was blown out by Danzig. Neer pushed the pace for eight minutes, took some huge shots from Danzig, but in the end the winner of The Ultimate Fighter 6 couldn't hold off "The Dentist". Neer finished the fight with a beautiful triangle choke at 3:36 of the second round.

After wailing away at each other for the opening five minutes, Neer started the second by gaining top control when he thwarted a Danzig takedown attempt and pushed him forward. He smashed away at Danzig relentlessly with elbows. Neer got a little sloppy when he went for a choke from a high position on Danzig's back. Danzig reversed it but couldn't do much damage. Neer did a great job of neutralizing Danzig from the bottom. He slowed Danzig to a crawl and got solid wrist control on his right arm. Neer shifted his hips and latched onto Danzig's left arm. From there, he started working a triangle choke with 1:44 left in the round and it was locked on at 1:34. Danzig flipped over but had to tap out.

Neer's pace was amazing and only went up a notch when he thought he was in jeopardy after what he called a first round headbutt. The accident butt which wasn't called by referee Jorge Alonso angered him:

"I felt like I got headbutted in the first, that's why my eye got split open. I got really mad. I felt the cut happen. I got really mad. I was worried about them stopping it. I came into this fight willing to die. I wasn't going to leave without a win."

The crowd booed Neer loudly during his postfight talk with UFC color voice Joe Rogan:

"Honestly, I don't care what you think of me. Love me or hate me. It doesn't matter to me."

Were that many fans aware of Neer's trangressions last month? Or did some his antics anger them? He dropped his hands throughout the fight often twirling his arms. He also made a gesture of confidence when he put his arms up once he locked on that winning triangle choke.

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