Monday, July 21, 2008

Freestyle Academy’s Brian Geraghty to fight Dustin Neace

Dave Strasser’s Freestyle Academy fighter Brian “Duke” Geraghty will face off against Dustin “The Beast” Neace at the Revolution Fight League this Saturday in Louisville, Kentucky. The two fighters were originally slated to fight at Freestyle Combat Challenge 33 for the vacant 145lb featherweight belt this February but the fight didn’t happen. Geraghty instead fought Shaun Kuhl (0-1) and quickly stopped Kuhl with an arm bar submission in the first round.

Brian Geraghty hasn’t fought since the February bout with Kuhl and was scheduled to fight at Gladiators: Fight Night at the Fair on August 4, 2008 in West Allis but pulled out of the event to take the fight with Neace in Kentucky. Geraghty sports an MMA record of (19-12-1) dating back to August of 2000 according to Sherdog with his biggest win coming against Tommy Lee of the Gilbert Grappling/Hellhouse Gym. Riding a three fight win streak, he was cast on the Ultimate Fighter season 5 but had little success on the show losing to the very talented Joe Lauzon in episode 6 via a rear naked choke in round one. In the finale, Geraghty faced off against “Handsome” Matt Wiman but lost via TKO in June of last year. Geraghty would take five months off before fighting again. In November of 2007, he would fight long time Shooto vet, Hatsu Hioki (15-3-1) at Heat 5 in Nagoya, Japan losing a unanimous decision. Since the show, Geraghty has decided to drop from lightweight (155lbs) to featherweight (145lbs), a class where he will be the dominant and stronger fighter.

Dustin “The Beast” Neace hails from Indianapolis, Indiana and sports an MMA record of (15-11-1). You may remember from my Freestyle Combat Challenge 32 article in January that Neace won a single night four-man featherweight tournament in Kenosha. Neace defeated Rich Taylor in the first round with a guillotine choke and in the finals scored a TKO victory over his teammate Jeremy Ashley, also in the first round. Since the tournament, Neace has gone (1-2) and hasn’t fought since April. Neace holds a win over local fighter Eugene Crisler and two losses to Geraghty’s teammate Jameel Massouh.

This should be an interesting matchup as both fighters are submission specialists with almost two thirds of Geraghty’s wins coming via submission and 80% of Dustin Neace’s wins coming by way of submissions. While both fighters have similar records Geraghty has five more years of experience and has bigger name fights on his resume. Geraghty doesn’t fight as frequently so there’s no way to tell if ring rust is going to be a factor, but the fact that he normally fought at 155lbs means he should have a size advantage as well.

I’ve read on the UnderGround forum that the winner of this fight will face off against reigning Revolution Fight League featherweight champion, Stephen Ledbetter for title in Macon, Georgia on October 04, 2008. Ledbetter is a WEC vet and is from Georgia and lost a unanimous decision to Jeff Curran in August of last year. He recently defeated Johnny Bedford for the title in May of this year with a first round triangle choke.

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