Las Vegas, NV — At 6-1 in his last seven fights and on a three-fight finishing streak, lightweight Drew Dober’s time in the spotlight has finally arrived.
So what does he credit this recent success to?
“I’m having fun doing it. I’m just enjoying moments. I’m just enjoying martial arts, and enjoying being inside the cage under that limelight,” Dober told Cageside Press on Wednesday, during a virtual media session to promote UFC 259. “These knockouts come from the smile on my face.”
During the in-person media day for the event, where Dober faces the dangerous Islam Makhachev, he explained that he “just stopped trying,” which is when things improved. The moment of realization came when Dober thought back to when he was competing in Muay Thai as an amateur. Why, he questioned, was he laying people out then but not now? The answer appeared to be that “somehow [fighting] turned into a job in my 20s. And I thought I had to suffer, and then the suffering showed in the cage. Then I went back to just having fun and not caring about the outcome, and just performing martial arts and having fun with it. And then that’s when knockouts started happening.”
There’s an argument to be made that Drew Dober has yet to receive the respect he deserves for his recent performances. Dober, however, said this week that he’s ready to earn that respect.
“I want the attention, I want the eyes, I want the excitement. I want want to be able to be in a main event in front of millions of people, and I want people to be excited about my fights,” he stated. “But do I expect the respect? No, I want to earn it, and with my fight with Islam Makhachev, this is my opportunity to earn the respect, earn the eyes, earn the fans, so I can showcase more in my next one.”
For now, the fans still seem to know Dober as the fighter way too pretty to be competing in the cage. “Getting punched in the face is a fountain of youth.” he joked. “And so the more I fight, the more compliments I seem to receive of how I look on Instagram. And honestly, I’m just pushing into that, just posting photos and seeing what people say about them,” he said.
Watch the full UFC 259 media day scrums with Drew Dober above. The event takes place this Saturday, March 6 at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas, Nevada.