Towering at 6’6”, Bellator veteran Luke Trainer has won seven of the eight bouts he’s had since making his professional MMA debut five years ago – with all seven victories coming via a finish. Trainer enters this fight with wins in his last two fights and four of his last five. He most recently fought at Bellator 293 one year ago, scoring a first-round submission of Sullivan Cauley.


Grant Neal also is a five-year pro, coming into the sport of MMA after a successful high school and college athletics career – which saw him become a two-time state wrestling champion in Colorado and win an NCAA Division II national football championship. A two-time amateur light heavyweight champion, Neal has scored wins over the likes of Christian Edwards, Romero Cotton and Karl Albrektsson. Neal has won three straight and four of five, with his win over Cotton – at Bellator 300 in October – being his most recent bout prior to tonight.


Which promising Light Heavyweight talent will continue his rise?



Round 1


Neal charges forward. Neal misses an overhand right. Trainer fakes a kick. Neal bouncing around on the outside. Trainer looks for the knee, but Neal grabs a hold of Trainer’s leg and brings him over to the fence. Trainer resists, and despite nearly being taken down, he’s able to hold his own and fend off Neal’s attempts against the fence. Trainer lands a knee to the body.


Neal pressing Trainer. Neal fires off a couple of hooks on the exit with less than two minutes to go in the round. A jab lands on Neal. Neal lands a low kick. Neal goes in for an outside single-leg takedown, but he’s unable to get Trainer off balance. Trainer looks to stuff the takedown attempt, but Neal continues to press forward – at the risk of Trainer nearly getting his back. Trainer brings the pressure in return, and he scores a takedown briefly in the last 20 seconds of the round. Trainer throws up a knee, but Neal fires off a quick right.



Round 2


Left hand from Trainer. Neal with a low kick. Trainer throws a front kick but doesn’t get all of it. Neal counters another front kick attempt with a one-two. Another front kick from Neal. Roundhouse kick from Trainer doesn’t land. Quick left hand from Neal. Neal misses a one-two to the body. Low kick from Trainer. Hard inside leg kick by Trainer. Round kick to the body by Trainer, and he makes Neal miss an overhand. Kick to the body by Trainer.


Neal level changes on Trainer’s right punch attempt. Trainer defends, but Neal is able to push him back to the fence. The two battle for position, both bringing pressure, before they separate with two minutes left in the round. Low kick by Neal. Low kick from Trainer. Neal misses the one-two. High kick from Trainer. Neal flashes a right but misses. Neal goes for a takedown, and Trainer scrambles back to his feet. Trainer gets out of Neal’s grasp, and he avoids a punch on the break. Trainer fires off a high front kick but it doesn’t land. Left hand from Trainer before the bell.



Round 3


Left hand from Trainer. One-two from Neal. Trainer misses a front kick. Neal misses a right hand. Low kick from Neal. Neal tries for another outside single-leg takedown, but Trainer again defends well with his back to the fence. Trainer, in fact, counters and tries to make his way to Neal’s back. Neal reverses, however, and gets Trainer back against the fence. The referee gave a look after about 30 seconds, seemingly warning the two about lack of activity.


Trainer appears to be talking to Neal as he lands a right hand. Low kick from Trainer. Left hand from Neal. Both men miss right hands. Trainer misses a high left kick. Neal misses a right hand, and Trainer lands an elbow that busts Neal open on the forehead! Low kick from Trainer lands hard. Another low kick from Trainer, and he gets away from Neal’s right hand. Neal tries to open up as he backs Trainer up against the fence with pressure. Front kick lands for Trainer, and it snaps Neal’s head back. Neal fires off a one-two in response. Neal misses another one-two, and Trainer lands a counter left. Neal misses a jumping knee at the end.


Trainer scored the win on all three judges’ scorecards in every round.





Luke Trainer defeats Grant Neal by Unanimous Decision (30-27 x3) in a light heavyweight bout