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Four Brief Thoughts on Josh Neer’s Gym Fight Video and the Ensuing Investigation

(Still a better fight than Dan Kelly vs. Patrick Walsh.)

By Jared Jones

By now, you’ve probably seen the video of UFC/Bellator veteran Josh Neer brutalizing Patrick Martin, a non-professional fighter who was talking a whole heap of mess to Neer on the social medias, in his Iowa-based gym. Reactions have ranged from “Dude got what was coming to him” to “Neer is a scumbag who should be brought in on assault charges”, so we figured we might as well weigh in on the story in the most cynical way possible. Starting with…

1. Dude *did* have it coming to him

Look, if I don’t want a chef to spit in my food, then I sure as hell don’t spend the time between appetizers and entree berating him for not being able to properly poach a goddamn egg. It’s Newton’s Third Law in its most basic form. When you show up to a professional fighter’s place of business looking for an unsanctioned/street fight, you can’t exactly play the victim when he inevitably grants you what you were asking for.

Anyone can talk all the trash they want online without fear of repercussion — its what makes the Internet both a hilarious and oft depressing place — and Neer should have simply ignored Martin rather than playing into his trollish game. The moment Martin stepped foot into Neer’s gym, however, he became a threat.

2. Patrick Martin does not seem like a particularly respectable/smart person

According to several reports, Martin stands at 6’6″ and clocks in at around 250 pounds. That he chose to pick a fight with a lifelong 155er through Facebook and continue to talk trash after the fact says more about his mental stability than anything else. Look at it from Neer’s perspective: You’re a 51-fight veteran and a guy who has fought for the 2 biggest MMA promotions in the world. You undoubtedly have a bit of an ego because of this. All of a sudden, a guy twice your size shows up to your gym looking to fight you. You know next to nothing about this man (Martin had taken a few classes at Neer’s gym prior to their confrontation) other than that he wants to “put you in an ambulance.” Walking away is no longer an option at this point.

For what it’s worth, here’s Martin’s side of the story (via BloodyElbow):

My side is that we had a 3 minute sparring round that he couldn’t score or take me down! He threw wild punches I dodged and counter and with my 16oz gloves I did all the punching also mixed a couple kicks in! Everything you see is after the round bell sounded as I turned away from him picking up my mouth piece I dropped after the round!

He’s adding all this talk, that I talk shit about MMA fighters when I talked shit to him after disrespecting me about a wrestling drill I was tired in! So I left it alone till I saw him out and I bought him a couple beers and then he walked of talking shit to his buddy about me! So I blew up on him on Facebook demanding a full contact spar! I said I’ll bring 16oz. So the beef is with him and a couple other of his gyms fighter who was talking shit on my page!

I’m not scared of fucking Josh Neer! Nor any man! He don’t wanna show the full video so I’ll let him think he won! I seen his game plan fighting me and that’s not gonna work!

I hate to break it to you, Pat, but you don’t show up to a street fight (especially one set in your opponent’s home turf) demanding rules and regulations as if it were a sanctioned bout. Three minute rounds? 16 oz gloves? And now you want a rematch? My God, dude. Neer didn’t hit you hard enough.

3. Then again, neither does Neer

Here’s Neer’s side of the story, also via Bloody Elbow:

Basically the guys a dumbass and been talking shit about MMA fighters for a month. On and on, I usually ignore him but this Saturday he wrote me on Facebook the message i gave. He had written 10 messages to me talking shit which I ignored, but this time I said if you really want to fight come to the gym Monday at 5:30.

He showed up at 6:10, 40 mins into my practice. And then I asked him if he wanted to fight Rakim or me and Rakim is bigger then me so of course he chose me.

The idea that the majority of MMA fighters are (or are supposed to be) these zenlike, death-before-dishonor practicing “artists” is laughable enough, but especially so in the case of Neer. Here’s a guy who has been arrested multiple times for DUI, including one incident where he led police on an 80+mph chase after hitting a car from behind at a stoplight.

You say Josh should have just done the “honorable” thing and brushed Martin off? Well go ahead and tell him that after you inform the Diaz brothers that not every fighter in the world is out to get them.

4. Nothing will come of the IAC’s “investigation” of Neer

In the time since Neer’s ill-posted video has gone viral, the Iowa Athletic Commission has launched an “investigation” of Neer to see if any punishable actions can be taken against him. This while admitting that they “hold no regulatory authority over what happens in gyms, where such informal fights are not uncommon.” (via Sherdog):

Josh Neer is reportedly under investigation by the Iowa Athletic Commission (IAC) after a video was posted online showing the UFC and Bellator veteran allegedly beating up another man in a gym fight.

“We are aware of the situation. I have our legal team taking a thorough look at our rules,” said IAC Executive Director Joe Walsh. “We’re checking to see if we have anything on the books that covers this.”

Of course, if the Iowa Commission is run anything like NSAC, nothing of importance will actually happen to Neer. Hell, they probably haven’t even found the rulebook yet.

So what have we learned today, kids?

1) Don’t pick a fight with a professional fighter, and if you must, make sure it remains within the realm of the Twittersphere where you stand a chance of winning.

2) If your said fighter being targeted, don’t feed the trolls.

3) Mixed martial artists are not Bruce Lee and need to stop being treated as if they are comparable to him in any way, shape, or form.

All that said, Neer’s soccer kick after the fact was probably unnecessary. Probably.

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