By: R. Eric Ellison
Well Conflict MMA fans, it’s weigh in day, and what better way to kick off the hype than with a breakdown look at the very exciting Co-Main event Arnold Adams Vs Robert Neal. Ever since this bout was announced, the Southeast has been absolutely on fire about it. No disrespect to Ben Brewer or Micah Miller, who are headlining the event, but the level of talk on this Adams Vs Neal heavyweight fight has been neck and neck as far as fan electricity is concerned.
We break these bad boys down in three categories: The Wrap Sheet, Cross- Examination, and the Path to Victory. On the Wrap Sheet we take a closer peek at the numbers and stats behind each fighter. The Cross-Examination pits each fighters statistics against one another, and the last category uses the first two to paint a picture of how each guy may pull off the W on fight night. Well, enough with the chatting, let’s get to it!
THE WRAP SHEET
Let’s start with Robert Neal (3-1-0). As an ammy, Neal went 5-1 and won via T/KO in every fight but one. Once pro, Neal continued the onslaught with all of his pro wins being knockouts. You look at these stats and see heavyweight and think this is all hands, but in fact, Neal’s kicks and legwork is one of his most dangerous tools. More than one of these wins started or ended with a stiff kick from a big man. Robert has solid movement, a good base, and has also gone the distance in the past. Anyone paying attention to the media for Conflict 20 has seen Robert Neal stepping up his cardio game, and if he shows up with a deep gas tank, it could be a rough night for Arnold Adams.
Arnold Adams (3-7-0) is an interesting guy. He lives in Chicago, and yet is one of the biggest heavyweight names in the Southeast at this level. Last time we saw Adams in the Conflict cage, he won a fight by kneeing his opponents knee til it gave out. More-or-less undefeated in six ammy fights (he had a DQ), Arnold shows a similar background as Neal here. Another aspect, as with Neal, is the kicks and strength of Adams. His power is deceiving and his countering skills are impressive. Adams has a solid resume of wins in every category, and most of his losses come to him via the judges cards. ”Bomaye” is one of those fighters that can win any fight on a good night.
Pitting these two together is much harder than anticipated. We write tons of these on UFC fights weekend after weekend, yet this one takes a bit more thought. First off, both of these guys have come to fights and looked amazing, and both guys have shown up not in the best of shape. So each comes with a bit of a “which version” shows up.
A second, and much larger factor, is the legs. Not just kicks, but the footwork too. Adams and Neal both display a lot of power and use of kicks, and I cant decide whether this will limit kicks here or become a shootout. Both guys have solid hands, but Neal has never been knocked out before. However his one ammy loss and one pro loss were both via submission, and Adams is no slouch on the ground. “Bomaye” compared appears to be more apt to get knocked out, but his impressive countering balances this one right on out. Getting it there now is a whole other story.
PATH TO VICTORY
I think what makes this fight so damn exciting is that both men share the same basic road to winning; knocking the other guy out. Neither man has any big submission resume as far as wins go, nor have they wrestled or ground their way to victory. Between them they posses 14 knockout wins out of 19 victories (ammy and pro). There probably will be some grappling this time around as the power begins to start rearing its head in this match, but you can almost bet your life savings that this fight right here ends in stunning fashion. The fans know it, why do you think they’re losing their minds over this match!?