ThatMMAGuy got the chance to sit down with TUF 7 alum and current Strikeforce welterweight contender Paul “The Gentleman” Bradley. Paul talks about his dismissal from The Ultimate Fighter, whether or not Rampage Jackson is truly a bad coach, how stressful it is to fight 5 months apart and his predictions for tonight’s Strikeforce Nashville event.
Ryan Justason: Other than fighting, you have another job. Can you tell us about your other job?
Paul Bradley: I actually after this last fight, I found another job because it was stressful and hard to get a fight paycheck. I just picked up a part-time work as a personal trainer at the LA Fitness in Roseville, MN.
RJ: So you prefer fighting?
Paul Bradley: Yeah definitely. I mean, that’s my number 1 priority and that’s why I’m only doing this whole personal training thing part-time. I have an awesome boss who hooks me up big time and he basically told me that I could make my own schedule. I haven’t missed a beat as far as training and I train just as much, if not more now. It’s a job that’s pretty sweet. Good gig.
RJ: You were on The Ultimate Fighter season 7 but had to leave due to unfortunate circumstances. Can you tell us about that experience?
Paul Bradley: You know, it was getting bad. I look back on it. When it first happened, I was pretty upset and angry but at the same time, I actually don’t think I was probably ready. I think I would have done well on the show but I was primarily a a wrestler and hadn’t trained much. Although I got kicked off for the whole skin funk and all that, it was kind of like a blessing in disguise. It gave me the chance to really start training full time and put my full effort [into it]. As I said, I think I could have done well on the show but at the same time, I don’t think I was ready for the UFC.
RJ: Is Rampage as bad a coach as everybody says he is?
Paul Bradley: I only had a short time on the show and with Rampage but he had a really good striking coach [Juanito Ibarra]. Overall, he didn’t really get to coach me so I can’t really say he was bad. If you do watch the show, you could say he’s not a good coach (laughs). Pretty much, you can go by what he says himself. I’m not sure that he’s a bad coach but Rampage pretty much puts it out there that he is so I guess so.
RJ: You are a 5 foot 9 middleweight. James Toney is also 5 foot 9. Do you think James Toney should fight at 185?
Paul Bradley: Actually, I don’t even fight at 185 anymore. I now fight at 170. My last fight, I fought at 185 but now I’m 170. As far as James Toney goes, I think he can be fine at 185, it’s just a matter of getting inside on guys. He’s been doing that [boxing] his whole life and getting in tight on people.
RJ: You last fought in February at the Strikeforce Challengers 6 event. What happened in that fight?
Paul Bradley: You know, I kind of got off my game-plan. He [Luke Rockhold] had said that he wanted me to stand-up and bang. I kind of fell more into his game-plan. That’s also why I fight at 170 because I don’t have to fight giants going around 6 foot 3, 6 foot 4. I kind of followed his game-plan and got into a striking match with him and I got caught right away. Although I thought I was recovered, I guess I never really recovered. I just didn’t recover and I got dropped with a knee to the body. I actually went down thinking I’ll just pull him in and I’ll keep a tight guard and recover. It is what it is. The ref was looking out for my safety even though I definitely would have liked the fight to go on longer.
RJ: Are you still signed with Strikeforce?
Paul Bradley: Yeah. Right now they’re looking at June or July, more than likely July. To be honest, I’m not really happy with that. I mean, I kind of feel like I did them a favor by moving up to 185 and I feel like I should be able to fight sooner than 5 months in between fights. It is what it is and they actually allow me to take fights outside the organization with smaller venues. At the same time, I hate being inactive for 5 months. I mean, that’s just kind of ridiculous for me. You know, I’m not the UFC champ, I’m not the Strikeforce champ and I’m not defending my belt 3 times a year and making a huge pay-day like those guys. Hopefully I can figure something out sooner than later.
RJ: Gegard Mousasi or King Mo?
Paul Bradley: I’m going to say King Mo’s going to take out Mousasi.
RJ: Gilbert Melendez or Shinya Aoki?
Paul Bradley: That’s a tough one because Melendez is constantly getting better. I’m going to say Aoki just because of his leg locks. If Melendez can keep it standing, it’s actually going to work for Aoki because he can use the cage to get him down there. So I’m going to go with Aoki by leg lock.
RJ: Dan Henderson or Jake Shields?
Paul Bradley: I’m going to say Hendos too much for Shields. Shields can pull off the stop but Hendos just too heavy- handed. I think his striking is better with his heavy hands. It’s also going to be very hard for Shields to get the fight to the ground.
ThatMMAGuy would like to thank Paul Bradley for his time and we can’t wait to see him back in action. Paul would also like to to thank his manager Danny Knowles for all the help he has been to Pauls career.