BY Jeff Cain
Josh “The Dentist” Neer makes his UFC debut live on Spike TV August 6th, on “Ultimate Fight Night,” against Drew Fickett. Josh recently spoke with MMAWeekly SoundOff Radio about how he got into Mixed Martial Arts, how he got the nickname “The Dentist,” and his opponent, Drew Fickett. MMAWeekly continues to bring you sixteen fighters in sixteen days with Josh Neer.
Josh Neer has always been a fighter, or it certainly seems that way. He started wrestling when he was barely older than a toddler, and started fighting when he turned 18. He eventually made the decision to drop out of college to pursue fighting full-time. When asked about his background in combat sports, Josh replied, “I started wrestling when I was 6 years old, and then I didn’t really do any boxing or anything until I started fighting when I was 18. Then I started fighting when I was 18, and then I started training when I was like 19.”
Josh added, “I wrestled in high school. I got 4th at state my senior year, and then I wrestled in college for a year, but I ended up breaking my nose in a fight, so I kind of got hurt half way through my first year at college, but I finished out the year…I started fighting before I went to college, but it was just amateur fights. They had a weekly show in DDes Moines and I fought there whenever I could. After my first year of college I quit college because I didn’t really like to go to school, and then I started fighting full-time.”
Coming from a wrestling background, Josh has worked hard on his striking. He said, “I’ve worked with a lot of boxers, and I got my hands pretty good…I like to go forward a lot, throw my hands, do wrestling, whatever. I mean whatever comes, I take it. I like to stand up, but I can go to the ground too.”
“The Dentist” may seem like an odd nickname for a fighter, or it may seem perfectly fitting depending on your perspective. With a nickname like that, there’s usually a story behind it. “I got that name from an announcer. I was fighting in a weekly show, and this dude was running his mouth, so I fought him. I ended up picking him up and slamming him on his head in like ten seconds, and then he started to get back up, and I soccer kicked him in his teeth, and it knocked out his front four teeth I think. The next week I kicked out someone Else’s, so the announcer was like I’m going to start calling you the dentist, and then it kind of just stuck.”
Discussing his August 6th opponent, Drew Fickett, Neer stated, “I know he’s a wrestler. I’ve watched his tapes. It looks like he likes to stand up a little bit. I don’t really know very much about him…From what I’ve heard is he is a wrestler.” If Josh Neer had his way, the fight with Fickett would be a stand up war. He commented, “We’d come out and just stand for how ever long the fight went, so if it went three rounds we’d just stand up for three rounds, and bang for three rounds.”
An opportunity to fight in the UFC doesn’t come around too often for most fighters. The opportunity to fight in the UFC on live TV is a chance of a lifetime. Josh Neer plans to seize the opportunity, and put his name on the MMA map. The only thing standing in his was is Drew Fickett. In closing, Josh said, “It’s going to be fun man.”