Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images
Paul Bradley (18-2, 1 NC, 0-0 UFC) will make his UFC debut as a late replacement against BJJ black belt Rafael Natal (12-3-1, 0-1-1 UFC). This middleweight UFC 133 fight will lead off the preliminary portion of the card, which will be streamed live on Facebook. The Facebook stream begins at 5:45 p.m. ET/2:45 p.m. PT.
How do these two stack up?
Bradley: 28 years old | 5'9" | 71" reach
Natal: 28 years old | 6'0" | 77" reach
What have these two done recently?
How did these two get here?
Paul Bradley is a two-time Division 1 All-American wrestler from the vaunted University of Iowa who entered MMA after his wrestling days were over. He racked up 11 straight victories to start his career before running into fellow UFC 133 fighter Mike Pierce in 2009. Pierce beat him by unanimous decision. Bradley was brought into Strikeforce not long after, where he won a fight on a Challengers card before facing Luke Rockhold, who finished Bradley with knees to the body. "The Gentleman" recovered well from that loss though and has rang off five straight victories (with one no-contest due to a rainstorm - seriously) since then. Bradley has competed at both welterweight and middleweight throughout his career.
Rafael "Sapo" Natal came into the UFC last year with some fanfare on the heels of a KO win over former TUF winner Travis Lutter on a Moosin card. He hasn't been that effective thus far though, dropping a decision to Rich Attonito and going to a draw with Jesse Bongfeldt. Bradley is actually Sapo's third scheduled opponent on this card. He was originally scheduled to face Riki Fukuda, but he was forced off the card due to injuries sustained in a car accident. Next up was Constantinos Philippou, but he was moved up to fight Jorge Rivera on the main card. Now he gets Bradley.
Why should you care?
It looks like wrestler vs. grappler on paper, but Bradley's got a well-rounded game and hasn't gone to a decision in his last seven fights. It should be a spirited affair that sets the tone for the night.