Good thing I saw these odds late. I would have bet a lot on Bradley.
“I asked Michael why it was easier to train oil drillers to become astronauts than it was to train astronauts to become oil drillers, and he told me to shut the **** up, so that was the end of that talk."
Round 1 - A touch of gloves get us started. Natal paws a jab and connects with his first. Bradley counters wildly and misses. More circling. Natal lands a punch, but Bradley drives forward with a combo. On the reset, Natal whiffs on a high kick. Both fighters looking to counter, and the pace slows. Bradley lands a low kick. Natal answers. Bradley wings a combo, but Natal is waiting. More circling, and Natal lands a low kick. Bradley's combo again in telegraphed, and they reset. The fighters trade body kicks. Natal lands a stiff left but has a lunging knee blocked. Bradley finally lands a couple heavy blows, catches a leg, but can't wrap it up. Bradley is bleeding from the nose from an earlier exchange. Natal lands a low kick and then avoids a takedown like a bullfighter. Natal gets throw a couple soft punches, and Bradley's nose now is bleeding worse. Bradley shoots, can't get it, but pops Natal with a punch. Natal moves forward with a couple nice straight shots and forces Bradley to brace for a low kick. Natal lands a low kick, but Bradley answers with a loud two-punch combo to the head. It's a close first round, but MMAjunkie.com scores it 10-9 for Bradley due to the heavier punches.
Round 2 - Bradley opens with a nice combo, tries to wrap up his opponent, settles for another big punch, and then finally slams Natal to the mat. Natal looked for a choke on the way down but didn't have the angle. Bradley works from half guard and then kneels to deliver punches as Natal is pinned against the fencing. Natal is busy of his back but doesn't have the room he needs. He pulls Bradley close and then secures a leg, which forces Bradley back to his feet. We start again standing. Natal lunges with punches that come up short. A low kick does land for him. Bradley's legs are throwing the abuse from the low kicks. Natal ducks under a punch and tries to clinch, but Bradley pops him. Natal snaps off another low kick. Natal answers with a nice straight left. He strikes again and darts out of range. Natal goes low again with a kick, and Bradley clearly has lost a step because of the punishment. Bradley nicely counters the next low kick. Natal lands another, and Bradley counters again. But he takes a finger to the eye in the process, and there's a brief timeout. Bradley quickly is OK, and we continue. Natal lands a very nice inside leg kick, but Bradley gets his takedown in the process. It's another evenly matched round, but MMAjunkie.com scores it 10-9 for Natal.
Round 3 - Natal uncorks a bloody snot rocket, and the third round is underway. Bradley opens with a nice combo that briefly staggers Natal. Bradley clinches, but Natal scampers away. Natal lands another low kick but is tagged with a punch while scrambling. Natal lands another low kick. Bradley answers with a combo that partially connects. Natal lands another low kick and then trades short punches. Natal tags Bradley with a knee on his takedown attempt, and he's forced to reset. Bradley grabs a sine leg but eats punches before letting it go. Bradley shoots again with a high-crotch, but Natal fends it off, which earns a nice ovation. Natal lands a nice left, and Bradley fails again on another takedown. Natal lands a low kick and avoids another takedown before landing a couple nice punches. Bradley tries again for the takedown, but Natal puts his back against the cage, and the pace slows. The crowd wants action. The ref quickly calls for a break. Natal lands an inside leg kick, and Bradley complains of an eyepoke. The ref missed it, and the fight continues. Bradley finally catches a kick and get the fight to the mat, but Natal quickly is back up. Natal throws a lunging punch and then fights off a takedown while against the cage. Natal lands a knee to the body, and Bradley breaks away with a punch. Bradley fails on another takedown as the fight ends. It's a brawl, but MMAjunkie.com scores another close one for Natal, 10-9, for a 29-28 win. This one could go either way. Rafael Natal def. Paul Bradley via unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28)