Grant Dawson entered UFC Fight Island 2 looking to get a little respect on his name. Perhaps now he’s got it.
Dawson (16-1) took home a unanimous decision victory over Nad Narimani on the event’s preliminary card. That, after Narimani appeared dismissive of the 26-year old’s skills ahead of time.
“Is he now?” Dawson responded following the win, when it came to his opponent writing off his skills. “One of my hashtags is ‘it’s just different.’ And the reason why it’s just different is that you can watch all the film on me you want, you can say I’m just a wrestler, I’m just this, I’m just that, I’m going to stuff the takedown, I’m going to beat him up from round-to-round— that’s all great.”
But once you get in there with him, Dawson added, “I’m stronger than all these guys, I’m bigger than all these guys, and facing me is just different. Once I get a hold of you, I’m a welterweight.” Even for Narimani, who Grant Dawson described as a “bowling ball of muscle.”
So maybe he has a little more respect on his name, now with seven straight wins, and four inside the UFC. Either way, said Dawson, he has the respect he needs from the people that matter.
“I have the respect from the two groups of people that I want respect from. I have the respect of the UFC, and I have the respect of my coaches,” he told us. “That’s all I really care about. These trolls on the internet can talk about whatever they want to talk about. I have been dominant from the beginning of my career til today. You can respect me, disrespect me, doesn’t matter. I’m going to whup your ass from bell one to bell three.”
Seven straight wins tends to let you dictate your career a little in the fight business. But as Dawson pointed out, “Every time they put a mic in my face I’m calling people out, trying to get fights.” Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t, he noted, before adding that he wants to be a company man.
What he also wants is to head home, after the long travel to Fight Island in Abu Dhabi. But whenever he returns, it will likely be at lightweight. Historically competing at featherweight, the UFC Fight Island 2 bout with Narimani came at a 150lb catchweight.
“As of right now the future is at lightweight,” proclaimed Dawson. “Until this pandemic is completely over, there’s no travel involved, then my coaches and I can sit down and have the discussion of what we want to do moving forward. But with this pandemic going on, it’s just going to be about getting as many fights as I can, cashing as many checks as I can, and the only way I can do that, especially if the fights are here in Abu Dhabi, is if it’s at 155.”
Watch our full conversation with Grant Dawson following UFC Fight Island 2 above.