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Ultimate Fighter Paul Bradley to Elite XC

paul bradley
One man's neck herpes is another promotion's treasure.

It seemed a little strange a few weeks back when Paul Bradley (6-0) signed a contract to fight under the Elite XC banner. At the time he was still a middleweight contestant on The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) 7 for the UFC.

Then I saw the new format for the show and found out 16 of the fighters were going to be sent home before even being on the show; therefore, I figured he was just going to be one of those guys.

When he defeated Reggie Orr on the first episode I was shocked, but at the same time intrigued by the possibilities of what he could be kicked off the show for. There was even more reason to be excited when the clips for next weeks episode after the second show had UFC President Dana White teasing, "You name it and I've kicked a guy off the show for it, but I've never kicked a guy out for this."

It was pretty obvious that the guy getting kicked off the show was going to be Bradley, which was not surprising. I was however surprised and a bit grossed out by the outbreak on his neck. It didn't look as bad as they were making it out to be, but when the word herpes starts getting thrown around you have to question eight weeks of training with the guy ... let alone sharing a kitchen and bathroom with him.

It turns out his "outbreak" was not the same as a souvenir from a drunken night in Tijuana. In fact, it was the "other" kind of herpes. Here's a quote from Bradley in a recent interview with

"Type one is the sexually contracted version, and the second version isn't and is like the cold sores people get. It's actually really common in wrestling. I can think of three guys right now who are in the UFC that have the exact same thing. I know that for a fact, and I'm willing to bet 50 percent of the fighters out there have it. I actually saw a doctor that morning, and he cleared me to fight. He said two days on meds, and I'd be cleared up and good to go. Dana calls me in and has his close friend there, looks me over, and then they make up their own mind. Here's the thing. Once it's broken out, it won't be given to anyone. I was told that in two or three days, that it won't be a problem at all. I was sent home, and sure enough on Friday, I was absolutely fine."

It was a tough break for the former collegiate wrestler, but good news was not far behind. Shortly after leaving the show he inked the deal with Gary Shaw and Elite XC.

Here's a snip from Bradley on his future with Elite XC:

"They took a chance on me and signed me. They've been nothing but great. All of their articles on [] have been great. It's not like I'm taking a step down in competition. Frank Shamrock, (Robbie) Lawler and all these great middleweights they have. I have my hands full just as much as I would have with the UFC. I'm very happy with EliteXC and looking forward to showing them they made a good choice. Right now, we're trying to get on the undercard of the June 14 card in Hawaii. I'm scheduled to go to Hawaii in the next few weeks to train with B.J. Penn, so it'd be great to have a fight there right after that."

Things certainly turned around nicely for him after his embarrassing departure from TUF. He's undefeated in his young mixed martial arts career and he'll get his chance to prove himself against some tough competition in Elite XC for sure.

Good luck, Paul.

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