UFC Fight Island 2’s Nad Narimani: Grant Dawson Brings Nothing New

Nad Narimani UFC
Nad Narimani Credit: Youtube/UFC

Just three fights into his UFC career (four if you count his bout on The Contender Series), Grant Dawson has turned more than a few heads. The Nebraskan wrestler quickly added three more rear naked chokes to the six he had before, making his top game as solid as any 26-year old in the game. 

While plenty of people are excited by what he’s been able to do when it hits the mat, don’t count his opponent this weekend in with the lot. Former Cage Warriors featherweight champion Nad Narimani has been around to see the type of game that Dawson brings. With a dozen fights in the UK against some of the top fighters in his division and years of training all over the world, Narimani has seen it all, and he doesn’t think there’s anything that separates Dawson from the pack. 

“I think his best asset is his wrestling, his grappling,” Narimani said. “I mean, I’m a black belt in BJJ myself, wrestled for x many years with Iranians and top level guys in America, so I don’t feel like he’s going to bring anything new to the table.”

Of course, Narimani isn’t overlooking what Dawson brings to the table. He’s familiar with the praise being bestowed upon Dawson’s strength and his youth. However, that doesn’t change Narimani’s view of how he’s planning on tackling the younger fighter. 

“He’s a young guy; he’s hungry. He looks tough, but I think everyone’s tough in the UFC,” he said. “I’m just going to go in there and try and break him early in this fight.”

The claim that he’s coming after him early is a bold one – as Dawson has just one loss on his record, which didn’t even come at featherweight and is now four-plus years in the past. Still, Narimani feels that the experience gained from facing the top competition time-after-time in England gives him the edge. 

“I think I’m going to finish it in the first or second round,” he stated. “I think I’m going to be too much for him standing up.”

Although proving those high on Dawson wrong is a bonus, the real motivation comes from where he stands in his career. At 33-years old, and closing in on a decade in the professional game, Narimani knows he needs to start his ascent to the top now. 

“I’ve been at it for a while and I need to make a statement, so that’s exactly what I’m going to do,” Narimani said. 

You can catch this bout as part of the main card of UFC Fight Night: Figueiredo vs. Benavidez (UFC Fight Island 2) on Saturday, only on ESPN+.