Something Worth Fighting ForPosted by Admin on Feb 24, 2010 in Articles, Featured • No comments
Something Worth Fighting For
By Randy Thomas
Almost every time “Mean” Dean Bradley competes, he steps in the cage as a underdog. Often matched up against fighters with body builder physiques, people began to take notice when the short, stocky kid from the South Side of Des Moines started ripping through the competition. For the soft spoken 21-year old, the nickname “Mean” is hardly fitting of his personality. But, for the opponents on the other end of his jackhammer-esque punches, or his arm bending, neck cranking submissions- that’s a different story.
Bradley’s mixed martial arts introduction came at the ripe age of eighteen. He never planned on fighting until a pursuasive, lifelong friend dared him to try it out at MCC’s amateur sister promotion, DMX. Although his nerves were on edge, he mustered the courage to step in the ring. When the fists started flying, Bradley was the recipient of a brand new battle scar for his efforts- a giant gash above his right eye. That didn’t stop him though. He toughed it out until he defeated his opponent. The fire was lit, and the rest is history.
With a career that started just two years ago, Dean Bradley has already racked up 50 fights under his belt- only losing nine of them. He’s competed at weights from 185 to 265lbs. At MCC 25: “Inferno” Bradley will take a huge jump up the MCC light heavyweight ladder to take on top contender, Josh “Bull” Christensen.
We asked Bradley for his toughts on his opponent.
“My first thought on him was that he’s very tall! He’s 6’4″ and I’m only 5’8″. It’s going to be tough getting inside to land some punches, but I’m pretty confident that I will. Its going be by far my biggest fight, so there is some pressure, but I’lll go in there like I always do; relaxed and ready to go. I see us both coming out to throw haymakers, but if it doesn’t go my way, I’ll take him down and work from there. I’ll probably be underestimated like the last time I fought. I knocked that guy out in eleven seconds. Let’s see what happens this time.”
Training at Des Moines Mixed Martial Arts Academy along side MCC Middleweight Champion, Elvis “The King” Mutapcic, MCC Light Heavyweight Champion, Chuck “The Reverend” Grigsby, and MCC featherweight contender, Paul “The Gingabread man” Bird, Bradley has all of the training partners he’ll need to get his striking, submissions, and confidence in check for his bout Josh Christensen.
“Even though I’ve been fighting for two years, I really just started training this year. I’ve fought so many times, it seemed like that was my training. But I know to make it to the next level I need to train with good people on a consistent basis. I want to see how far I can go in this sport, and I know a win over Josh Christensen will really open people’s eyes. It makes it even more exciting for me.”
Although everything seems to be in Bradley’s favor at the moment, it hasn’t always been without set backs. In the time that Dean Bradley found mixed martial arts, he also learned his Mother was diagnosed with kidney failure. With treatments every other day and random trips to a kidney specialist in Iowa City, he found little, if any time to train. In fact, his responsibilities became so overwhelming he soon found himself out of work. With no job to pay the bills and no sponsor support to help fund his training regimen, any future in the sport seemed like it was a long shot.
But, just like the luck he’s found inside the cage, recently his Mother’s health has improved, and he’s been able to balance the time he needs to be both a good son and a better fighter.
“With my Mother feeling better, I really use the whole experience as a motivator. Every time I train. Every time I fight. Every time I get tired- I think about my Mom and all she has gone through. Proving to her that I can make something of myself by being successful in MMA means a lot to me. It keeps me fighting. If she can do it, I can do it. When I see how proud she is with what I’ve already done, I can’t wait to take it even further.”
Bradley’s Mother may be his number one fan, but he has certainly gained popularity with each of his appearances in MCC. With his family and friends cheering him on, his fan base grows with each bout. It make all the blood, sweat and tears worth it. Fight fans can watch for more to come from Bradley in 2010 as he’s already asked MCC brass to keep him as busy as possible. He wants to be the best, plain and simple. Dean Bradley is a man on a mission. He’s got something to fight for.
MCC 25: “Inferno” takes place Saturday, March 13 at Hy Vee Hall. Tickets are available at www.MidwestCageChampionship.com, by phone at 515-229-8566 or at all Dahl’s ticket outlets. For more information check out the web site.