Las Vegas, NV — A massive underdog heading into UFC 246, Drew Dober proved the Vegas odds-makers wrong in a big way on Saturday. A first-round TKO of Nasrat Haqparast puts Dober on a modest two-fight win streak, and more importantly, moves him to 5-1 since 2016.
It seems almost unthinkable that Dober was as much as a +285 underdog or more, in a fight many pundits saw as a pick ’em. And while not the most lopsided odds ever, or even on the card, it still felt like a slight.
Dober (22-9, 1NC) didn’t sweat the odds, however. “In my opinion, I’m never an underdog. I know what I’m fully capable of,” he told reporters including Cageside Press backstage following the fight. “Everyone’s entitled to their opinion, and my opinion is I’m coming in as a favorite, and I know what I’m capable of. It doesn’t add any extra motivation.”
Recapping the fight, for as long as it lasted, Dober explained that “I try to be in the moment, always. Always present, and be able to watch and learn. He did throw a naked kick, which landed extremely well, which is why I’m limping. But it was naked, so then I was like ‘Now I gotta respond.'”
Respond he did, dropping Haqparast and moving in for the kill. “The quicker punch is going to land hard. As soon as he threw it, I just released. Honestly I didn’t feel the punch land. He just fell over, that’s when I knew it was my moment.”
As for those picking him to lose, “I never want anyone to eat their words. I love hearing people’s opinions, whether they want me to win or not,” said Dober. He gets that European fans are going to back Haqparast, a German-Afghan fighting out of Hamburg. “Nasrat is extremely talented and a great fighter. He deserves all the fans in Europe and everything. But hopefully with my respect and the way I performed, I’m able to gain some more fans that way.”
There’s no question Dober’s stock rose at UFC 246, as he earned the first finish on the first UFC card of 2020. On the subject of what comes next, Dober replied that “I feel like a lot of people are booked up. You’ve got Paul Felder and Dan Hooker, and all these guys. Dustin Poirier, what is he doing?”
“I want to fight the best in the world, whoever that is,” Dober continued. “Sometimes there’s a really talented individual without a number in front of his name. I’m here for fantastic performances, and not to squeak up a division.”
Watch the full UFC 246 post-fight press scrum with Drew Dober above!