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Exclusive: Josh Neer released by UFC

Josh NeerWhat began as an impressive third tour of duty in the UFC for Josh Neer has ended in release. Sources closed to the Iowa-based fighter informed early Saturday morning that Neer was let go by the organization shortly after his unanimous decision loss to Gleison Tibau at UFC 104 last Saturday. The defeat was Neer’s second consecutive in the Octagon and his third in his last four fights.

The six-year vet began his career in 2003 and first made his UFC debut in 2005, losing to Drew Fickett via decision at the first-ever UFC Fight Night. After two fights outside of the UFC, he returned in 2006, where he recorded back-to-back wins over veterans of The Ultimate Fighter, Joe Stevenson and Melvin Guillard. However, he would go on to lose fights at UFC 61 and UFC 62 to Josh Burkman and Nick Diaz, respectively.

Following his release after the Diaz fight, Neer compiled a 6-1 record outside of the UFC and returned for his third stint with the promotion at UFC Fight Night 13 on April 2. Facing Din Thomas, Neer improved his lifetime UFC record to 3-3 with a unanimous decision victory. He then followed it up with an impressive performance in a split decision loss to Nate Diaz at UFC Fight Night 15. After the Diaz loss, Neer recovered and submitted season six winner of The Ultimate Fighter Mac Danzig with a triangle choke at 3:36 of round 2 during UFC Fight Night 17.

Following the Danzig victory, Neer’s stock was on the rise. However, it would soon fall after losing to Tibau at UFC 104 and Kurt Pellegrino at UFC 101 before that. With the back-to-back losses, Neer’s record in his last four UFC fights actually fell to 1-3.

A well-rounded fighter who is known as a tough competitor, Neer could possibly return to the UFC a fourth time if he can accumulate 1-2 wins outside of the organization.