Paul Bradley is no stranger to the spotlight, having already picked up a signature win in the main event of Bellator 129, turning in a dominant performance that caused his opponent to behave in an ungentlemanly manner after the fight.
The 22-6 (1 NC) fighter has been known to frustrate many hard-hitting foes, surprising many people in his Bellator debut when he shut down "The Psycho" Karl Amoussou.
As Bradley looks to gain momentum in Bellator MMA's stacked Welterweight division, he'll have to shut down undefeated Chris "The Cutt" Honeycutt (6-0) tomorrow night at Bellator 140, which takes place at Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Connecticut.
Bradley spoke with MMAmania.com about the challenge of facing Honeycutt in Spike TV's co-main event.When an excellent wrestler from the University of Iowa meets one from Edinboro University, there's a strong chance that simultaneous takedown defense will lead to explosive standing offense.
"Y'know I'm just looking to stuff these takedowns (from Honeycutt) and make him pay on every shot. I think that works to my advantage, I've got great wrestling defense, I've been taken down one time out of 29 fights so I feel pretty confident in that department."
Even with the potential for the pendulum to swing in the other direction given Honeycutt has notched two straight technical knockout wins, Bradley remains confident he'll get the best of the exchanges.
"I'm not taking anything from the guy, but you've gotta look at his competiton (to date). It wasn't against a Mike Pierce or a Nathan Coy or any of those guys. He's developing, but I think it's too soon for him for this fight man."
And speaking of his former opponent, Coy, Bradley was stunned things didn't go his way on The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) 21.
"The fight he lost (against Vicente Luque), man like I looked at it and I'm thinking, 'Is that the same fighter who beat me last March?' I'm not even going to take anything away from him, but it looked totally uncharacteristic for him. I know he can fight better than that."
Bradley has faced tough competition like Coy and Amoussou in Bellator, but both Bradley and Honeycutt have been facing tough competition their whole lives, with the grueling wrestling grind getting each man ready for war.
"I wouldn't change any of it. I got to wrestle at one of the most prestigious colleges in wrestling at the University of Iowa. I had great coaches, I got pushed to the limit every day, and you have to go through it to get it. It builds ya', and it built me for fighting."
Those who don't live between the Missouri and Mississippi may be unable to relate, but there's a healthy wrestling rivalry between Iowa and Iowa State at meet after meet. Even when the rival school has a national champion wrestler, there's mutual respect and admiration for how hard it is to reach that plateau.
"(Kyven) Gadson man, he came on out of nowhere man, that was great. I really enjoyed watching that guy wrestle this year. And he's a Waterloo (Iowa) boy so even better you know? Wrestling takes a lifetime. It's not like striking where in a few years you can get pretty dang good at it."
Bradley's been fighting for almost one decade, and at 22-6 (1) he's gotten pretty dang good at it -- seven striking finishes, seven submissions and eight decisions. He'll put a lifetime plus a decade into the cage at Mohegan Sun Arena this Friday night.
Check out the full audio of our interview with Bradley below and our Bellator 140 coverage continues all week(end) at MMAmania.com.