“This guy is as good as ANY of the 170-pound fighters in all of MMA. Paul Bradley is a Beast, a Warrior, and most of all, a Survivor. For starters, Paul was asked to leave the TUF Season 7 show, but not until after he had already turned down a really great job offer just to be on the show in order to chase his dream of making it to the MMA big leagues. And more recently, Paul was also cut from Strikeforce after a WIN! Yes, a WIN—CRAZY!!!
“Many people with the wrong mindset would have simply quit, or 'tapped out' (ugly words) after being cut by one big MMA Organization—never mind, two of them. But not Paul "the Gentleman" Bradley. He does not surrender—EVER.
“It’s just not how he rolls because Paul keeps fighting on like all good Americans do. They fight for what is right, and don't back down—EVER!!!!!!! Please support this warrior who is an inspiration to many because he keeps on coming no matter who or what tries to take him down or stand in his way!”—Carried Out Fight Gear
Indeed, truer words were never spoken.
Training out of the Minnesota Martial Arts Academy, Paul Bradley is a role-model to many young fighters who dream of one day fighting professionally in the sport of Mixed Martial Arts.
Not because he has become a household name by fighting out of the largest MMA organization in the world (yes, I’m talking about the UFC), but because despite having an excellent record of 14-2, he has been privileged to compete for multiple national organizations, such as Strikeforce, Shark Fights, King of the Cage, Ultimate Cage Fighting Challenge, Ring of Combat, The Ultimate Fighter Season 7, and now he can add CFX/Extreme Challenge 170 to that growing list of impressive accomplishments.
His ultimate goal?
Simple—to be the best—any way possible.
Please enjoy my fourth interview with Paul.
James Ryan: Hey Paul, how have you been?
Paul Bradley: Hey James, I’ve been doing very well. How about yourself?
James Ryan: Super fantastic amazing!! [Laughs]
Paul Bradley: [Laughs] That’s good.
James Ryan: Thanks again for taking the time out of your busy schedule to speak with me about your upcoming fight.
Paul Bradley: My pleasure.
James Ryan: Sweet, so how’s the training been going?
Paul Bradley: It’s been going good. Really busy though. I’ve been selling a tonne of tickets and just trying to get things in order. But I hope that I don’t ever have to fight for ticket sales again—let’s put it that way. [Laughs]
James Ryan: So what’s the arrangement with that? I had noticed that you were quite active on Facebook trying to sell tickets to this event. Is there a direct tie-in with the ticket sales and how much you get paid for this fight?
Paul Bradley: Well, the thing is, I haven’t fought in Minneapolis, and I’m originally from Iowa, so I have a lot of friends and family coming up to support me. A lot of people from where I work at LA Fitness are coming out as well, and just a tonne of people that I know are coming out to watch.
It was either take this fight for ticket sales or—my manager is helping to put this event on too, so that was another plus obviously—I wanted to help him out with the big show. But it was either take this fight or wait until possibly February again for Shark Fights, so I decided to take this fight.
James Ryan: Right, makes sense. So tell me about your upcoming fight. Who’s it with? What’s going on? Who are you fighting? Where are you fighting? That sort of thing.
Paul Bradley: I’m fighting in the CFX/Extreme Challenge 170, which is scheduled for this Saturday, December 11, at the Target Center in downtown Minneapolis.
My opponent is Ted Worthington. He’s out of Des Moines, Iowa. He’s a bit of a journeyman with a record of 29-28, but the guy has fought some really tough people. He’s gone to a lot of decisions with a lot of tough fighters. We’re going to meet at a catch-weight of 175, which is nice, but he’s tough and has pretty good hands. I just have to be smart. He’s got a good uppercut and a good right hand—I’ve studied a lot of tape on him. I’m just looking to go in there to get a ‘W’ and stay active obviously.
James Ryan: So was that the biggest motivation in taking this fight—just to keep fighting and staying active?
Paul Bradley: Ya, I definitely want to stay active. While I’m healthy, I would like to get a little string of wins together, and build from there. I’m keeping the UFC in mind too, but I think that I would like to enter the UFC with a record of 18-2, which is something that I definitely would like to accomplish before I make it. Or even 20-2.
James Ryan: And right now you’re at 14-2, correct?
Paul Bradley: Yes, that’s correct. With this fight, I could be at 15, and after that, I would only need three more wins to get to 18, which would turn out just perfect if I end up signing a three fight deal with Shark Fights in the New Year. We haven’t talked specifically about what the contract would offer, but they’ve already kinda mentioned that they would pay me more for three fights with them, then the UFC would.
James Ryan: Well, that’s alright then.
Paul Bradley: Ya, I don’t know. I’m gonna have to sit down with Monty after this fight, but obviously I would say that I just need to focus on the task at hand, and get this win first.
James Ryan: Definitely. Hey Paul, maybe you can help to answer a question for me. It’s something that’s been on my mind.
Paul Bradley: Shoot.
James Ryan: Lately, it seems that the UFC has been cutting a lot of talent, and in some cases, it doesn’t make a lot of sense, at least not from the perspective of the fans. Look at Gerald Harris—and I don’t know all of the ins and outs, but he had three great performances, and then after one not-so-great performance—out he goes.
And when that happened, I thought, ‘what kind of a message is that sending out to the younger guys that are actually trying to make it into the UFC?’
Is it discouraging to see something like that happening? Or do you think that it’s isolated and that it has more to do directly with Gerald and nothing else?
As someone who has goals of fighting some day in the UFC, what do you make of these types of situations?
Paul Bradley: You know, to be dead honest, I want to think that there’s more to it than just cutting the guy after a poor performance, but I’m not sure there is.
So, what it makes me think is that I might possibly be in a better position to just sign with Shark Fights—makes me think twice about the UFC, like maybe Shark Fights is the way to go as far as job stability and stuff, because honestly, this is a job and we need to make money and support ourselves.
And here you have Gerald Harris, who was 3-1 in the UFC, including two knock-outs of the night, and he’s just gone! It’s just...I don’t know man, I find it pretty odd. I guess I understand that he put on a bad performance, yes, but at the same time, there’s been plenty of other people who have put on a bad performance—granted Anderson Silva didn’t lose, but at the same time, he put on a much worse performance than that—in two title fights!
James Ryan: Well, that’s true. How about that fight in Abu Dhabi? That was terrible.
Paul Bradley: Precisely.
James Ryan: How about that same night that Gerald got cut? That fight between Matt Hughes and BJ Penn—you can’t tell me that Matt Hughes performed better than Gerald Harris that night. But he’s definitely not going anywhere, right?
Paul Bradley: No way. It’s like I said, you gotta think about it too I guess—Matt Brown is 0-3 and they’re not cutting him. Tyson Griffin lost his last three also. Granted, I don’t think a guy like Tyson should be cut, because the guys that he has lost to are top guys and you know, he just lost to one of my teammates recently, but the guys that he has lost to are at the top and are very good.
Plus, he’s always been in exciting fights. But then you have Matt Brown who can’t get out of a submission to save his life, and yet because he’ll stand and bang and get knocked out or knock someone out, he stays on the UFC’s roster. I don’t know...I guess exciting fights are what they want and I guess they’re willing to cut you if you have just one bad one.
James Ryan: So how does that change the motivation for people in wanting to actually become a part of the UFC? I think up until now, people have looked at the UFC and have thought that they are the end-all, be-all and that’s where they would want to end up with their careers.
But if you see that they’re not being very loyal to their fighters, then to me, it would almost seem that it would make people second guess whether or not that’s what they really want to do. Whether it’s the biggest show in the world or not, so what? If you are willing to sacrifice everything in your life to get there and then in a flash it’s gone—well then what good was that sacrifice?
Paul Bradley: Ya, don’t get me wrong, I’ve seen Dana do a lot of great things.
Like this last fight with Nam Phan—giving him the win bonus in that fight. If you do him a favour, he’ll do you a favour. I don’t know, sometimes like with the Gerald Harris incident, I get a little thrown back by it. I guess I don’t understand it—I understand he put on a crappy fight, don’t get me wrong, but at the same time, there’s been worse fights out there and the guy has gotten two knockout of the night bonuses and finished the other guy too, which probably should have been knockout of the night also, but I don’t know...
James Ryan: Well, maybe it was a good wake-up call for him? I read a recent interview with Gerald and he basically said, ‘ya, Dana sent me home. Luckily he didn’t say that I was done with the UFC, he just said to go home and think about your performance’ and he said that he had, and that he agreed with Dana that it was a terrible performance, and that he’s never going to let it happen again.
I suppose if Dana were the head coach of a football team, he would have done exactly the right thing. Basically, he benched him, right?
Paul Bradley: Right.
James Ryan: And then Dana reserves the option to call him back out ‘onto the field’ so to speak. So, I guess in that sense, Dana might just be trying to motivate these guys to perform and when they don’t, maybe cutting them is a badly needed wake-up call.
So, maybe it’s good not to read too much into it.
Paul Bradley: For sure, for sure.
James Ryan: So, is your fight this weekend going to be available for viewing on the internet or TV?
Paul Bradley: Unfortunately, I don’t think that they have anything lined up as far as viewing, but it’s gonna be a big local event. Us fighters are selling a tonne of the tickets. They’re actually doing a smart business model with this promotion.
Last time that they had a big show, they paid the fighters way too much and then pretty much sacrificed their profits, but this time, they’re actually being pretty smart about it. Selling the tickets has been a lot of work and a bit of a pain in the ass, but at the same time, they’re doing it right because then this way, it’s not money out of their own pocket.
James Ryan: So what’s the idea? If you don’t sell any tickets, you don’t get paid? But if you sell lots, then you’re good?
Paul Bradley: The way it’s set up is that if I don’t sell any tickets, then I’m not going to make any money. Thankfully it’s going well though. [Laughs]
James Ryan: [Laughs] Well, that’s good. So pretend that I’m a local fan and that this is a show that I should go to. Why is it worth my time? Why is it worth my money—especially right before Christmas?
Paul Bradley: Well, definitely the biggest draw right now is that we have four UFC veterans on the card, including former UFC champions, Tim “the Maine-iac” Silva and Jens Pulver. Also, other UFC veterans like Tommy Speer, Travis Wiuff, and myself, even though I don’t really consider myself to be a UFC vet.
And to be honest, we don’t get a lot of big shows around here, so this is a chance to go out and see some really good fights, to see some really good fighters right here in your hometown, and it’s probably the biggest show that we’ve had in this area since UFC 87.
The quality is good , you’re going to see a bunch of good fights, and you’re also helping support the local fighters like myself to make some money, because when it’s all said and done, this is our job and this is how we feed ourselves and pay for our families.
James Ryan: Do you know why there was a decision to put it on the same night as the biggest and final UFC event of the year? That’s some pretty tough competition that you’re going up against.
Paul Bradley: Ya, the big thing is too, we are starting the show at 6:30. The after party is at the Ugly Mug which is right here in Minneapolis. They’ll be showing the fights, so the plan is to have the event over by the time that the UFC fights come on.
James Ryan: Well, that’s perfect then! I was thinking that if I lived there and I was really into MMA and the UFC, then I probably wouldn’t want to miss one for the other.
It’s great to support local events, but as a fan, I definitely want to watch GSP vs. Koscheck this weekend also. But with it set up like this, it could be a great whole day for MMA fans. They could go to a live local event and then go out after to watch the UFC fights—perfect! Sounds like an amazing day actually. Where can people buy the tickets?
Paul Bradley: Well, right now, tickets can be purchased directly through the event organizer, but like I said—I would advise people to try and buy them through a fighter. That’s the way to go, because then you’re actually helping the fighter out. And you’re still getting the same ticket at the same price—you’re just getting it through a fighter instead and helping him.
James Ryan: Before we wrap up, is there anyone that you would like to thank?
Paul Bradley: I would really like to thank my sponsors who stepped up to the plate for this fight. Like I said, not a whole lot of recognition or TV for it, but I definitely have to help the people that are helping me when I take fights like this.
BAMF Fight Gear—they’re a big company out in California. Clinch Gear of course, who have always been behind me. Punch Drunk Gamer, who is a big company for fighters. Then I have Max Muscle out of Minneapolis, Minnesota.
And last but not least, Carried Out Fight Gear.
And I really appreciate you James, for writing these articles and helping to get my name out there. You’ve definitely gone above and beyond in helping me out.
James Ryan: It’s my pleasure, Paul. Anything to help out the future Champ. [Laughs] Best of luck this weekend.
Paul Bradley: Thanks again.
This is my interview. If you don’t like it…I have others. Check them out at www.mrjamesryan.com
Carried Out Fight Gear was founded in 2009 by a group of fighters who realized that the true essence of a Warrior was being lost by some people giving up. The Carried Out mindset of “One Way Out – Carried Out!” signifies that a fighter will never ever surrender and fight to the very end, leaving everything he/she has in the ring, on the mat or in the cage!
One Way Out…Carried Out!!!!!