The business of mixed martial arts definitely falls into the entertainment category. There are countless examples of crazy outcomes, and whether it’s Cheick Kongo getting cold-cocked twice before snot bubbling Pat Barry or Cain Velaquez making a bloody mess of “Bigfoot” Silva, the fight game is highly entertaining.
The UFC’s Drew Dober has had his fair share of crazy outcomes. From a bogus stoppage to unfortunate guillotines to marrying one of his previous opponent’s sister, and everything in between, the Nebraska native is nothing less than a pleasure to follow. His last fight was no different.
After Erik Koch had to pull out of his second scheduled match with Dober at UFC 203, Jason Gonzalez stepped in as a replacement. The fight started off with wild swinging, which Dober eventually got the better of, and he destroyed his opponent in less than two minutes to take a TKO victory.
“It was pretty fantastic,” Dober told Combat Press. “I didn’t expect it to be all that simple – no offense to Jason Gonzalez. It was picture perfect.”
Dober made his way out to the Elevation Fight Team in Denver about two years ago. Ever since the move, he has won a few, lost a few, and never left fans feeling bored. It’s not only a testament to Dober himself, but also a testament to the high level of training at Team Elevation.
“We don’t really change anything but we’re always trying to improve,” Dober said. “We don’t try to really pick apart an upcoming opponent. Throughout my entire life, I always try to pick apart my previous opponent, so I can continue to improve.”
While analyzing previous opponents has clearly led to his continuous improvement, it never hurts to have training partners like Neil Magny, T.J. Dillashaw, Matt Brown and Brandon Thatch to push Dober to the limit. In addition to having some of the UFC’s finest in the gym, coaches Leister Bowling and Eliot Marshall also help with the one area where he has had some issues in previous fights. This poses a very interesting situation in his next bout at UFC 206 tomorrow night.
Dober’s next opponent is former contestant from The Ultimate Fighter: Nations, Olivier Aubin-Mercier. The Canadian has beaten seven of his 10 professional opponents by submission and has never been stopped. While Dober has only been submitted once in 25 outings, the ground game has posed some issues in the past. This is where Bowling and Marshall enter the fray.
“In the past, good grapplers and wrestlers have been my kryptonite, but now I’m excited and eager for this fight to prove to myself and others that, in training with Team Elevation, I’m on a completely different level,” Dober said. “It’s giving me the resources to reach my potential. I’m always improving on what my game is, and I’m trying to prevent Olivier from implementing his game.”
Aubin-Mercier is very tough on the ground, but Dober is very tough everywhere, so the Nebraskan is hoping to neutralize his opponent’s strong suit before it becomes a problem.
Drew Dober is a typical gritty, Midwestern fighter with a very high level of training since his move to Denver. He is on a mission in the coming year to move into a more significant position in the UFC lightweight division, and a high-profile win over a TUF vet with a grappling background will surely lead him in the right direction. Regardless of the outcome, Dober knows exactly what he brings to the table.
“I sit as an entertaining grunt. The UFC will use me to make the fights exciting. But, obviously, I want to have more job security by winning fights and moving up the rankings system.”
UFC 206 airs live tonight from the Air Canada Centre in Toronto, Ontario, and Dober’s fight will be part of the preliminary card on Fox Sports 1.