Shana Dobson is facing a motivated opponent at UFC Vegas 7 in Mariya Agapova.
“She’s young, she’s excited. She’s coming off a great win, an impressive win,” Dobson observed, speaking to media outlets including Cageside Press. “I have to give credit to my opponent, as always.”
Dobson (3-4) is, without question, in a tough spot entering the fight. She’s lost three straight after winning her first official UFC bout at The Ultimate Fighter 26 finale a few years back. A fourth consecutive loss would likely mean an exit from the promotion, but Dobson isn’t dwelling on that.
“I have a different mindset than most people. I look forward, I look to the future, I look to the present right now. I have a great team, I’m with Elevation Fight Team, I’m with a great set of coaches,” she explained. “I just feel confident. I’m not even thinking about [losing my job], I don’t think that’s going to be an issue come Saturday night.”
It’s the mental game, she added, that is key to fighting, one of the biggest lessons she’s learned to date.
“Train your mental game. It’s very important that fighters come in mentally prepared as well as physically prepared,” Dobson suggested. “It can’t just be 100% physical as far as preparation. Be aware of the feelings you’re going to feel leading up to the fight, fight week, fight night. Be aware of those feelings and embrace them.”
She’s done that, and covered the physical side of training as well. Expecting to be the best version of herself at UFC Vegas 7, she gave credit to Elevation.
“I’ve got to give credit to the training that I’ve put in and where I’ve been for the last few months,” said Dobson. “I feel like my team, the results have spoken for themselves.”
Considering the showing that people like Justin Gaethje have had, she’s not wrong.
“Pushing each other, sparring, sparring hard – there’s nothing that I haven’t seen yet,” added Dobson. “I feel fully prepared.”
Watch the full UFC Vegas 7 virtual media day press scrum with Shana Dobson above. The event takes place Saturday, August 22 at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas, Nevada.