UFC 280’s AJ Dobson Shaped by Pair of Legends

AJ Dobson, Dana White's Contender Series
AJ Dobson, Dana White's Contender Series Season 5, Week 4 Credit: Gabriel Gonzalez/Cageside Press

The long, often winding, path to the UFC can be a tricky one. One that not only takes discipline and the right mindset, but also the right guidance. Although there are plenty of coaches out there that have the experience bringing fighters up (and some who have done it themselves as well), few fighters have a coaching staff as decorated as UFC 280’s AJ Dobson.

Training out of Ohio, Dobson has worked under certifiable legend, Mark Coleman. Having that kind of wealth of knowledge to lean on has been a huge resource for him.

“It’s been amazing. He’s such an inspiration. He has stories for days and he’s been to the top many times,” Dobson said. “So any kind of thing that I’m feeling, any questions I’m unclear about, he always has an answer.”

And it isn’t just questions about fighting that Dobson asks to ‘The Hammer’. Coleman provides the mindset that Dobson needs to know that he’s heading in the right direction.

“Just letting me know that I’m doing the right thing, that I’m on the right path,” he shared of his talks with Coleman. “Days when you come in and don’t feel your best – letting me know that that is normal. He’s just a great person to let me know that everything is all right.”

Having one legend guiding the way would be huge for any fighter, but Dobson has the pleasure of two. Not only does he work closely with Coleman, but Matt Brown serves as another of his coaches. While the former UFC heavyweight champion provides the reassurance he needs, the welterweight legend has shown him how things are done.

“Matt is the one that kind of taught me how to train. He took me to the next level,” he said. “The first big camp that I was ever a part of was his fight against Mike Pyle. It’s the hardest camp I’ve ever been through, but from then to now, he’s taught me how to train, what to do and how to fully immerse myself in the sport.

You can see AJ Dobson look to put all of his accumulated knowledge together this weekend when he fights Arman Petrosyan at UFC 280. That fight will take place on the ESPN+ prelims.

You can hear the entire audio of this interview at 33:53.