Grant Dawson Is Itching To Fight Again Following Nine-Month Absence

Las Vegas, NV – Nine months away from fighting saw a couple of life changes for UFC lightweight Grant Dawson, but the focus remained the same and he gets Damir Ismagulov in the co-main event of UFC Vegas 76 on Saturday night.

“It definitely feels like a big fight. It’s a step up in competition, but this is what I wanted. I wanted to show the UFC that you can put me in a co-main event spot against a guy that I’m an underdog against, and I can still perform,” Dawson told reporters on Wednesday.

“It’s time for me to prove that the move to ATT was the best move I could make and I am ready for this.”

The move to ATT, as instrumental as it’s been for Dawson, wasn’t the biggest change in his life. Dawson got married during his time away, but the focus remained on fighting as soon as possible.

“I fought November 5th (2022), I got married November 20th, and I asked for a fight November 21st. We got offered Damir, and then we said yes. Then they offered Tony (Ferguson) instead,” Dawson said.

The offer to fight Ferguson was nice, but short-lived as the fight fell through rather quickly and Dawson was back to fighting Ismagulov.

“I was like yeah! Way easier fight, way bigger name, yeah give me that guy! Then that fight ended up falling through. So now it’s back to Damir,” he said.

Dawson knows he’s got time to get to the top, but he also knows that time waits for no one, and he’s got to make moves to get to his ultimate goal of a title before his time is up.

“I do this because I absolutely love this. I absolutely love this more than anything. It’s more so I just want to show people how much better I’m getting. I’m not old by any means, but every year that goes by I do get older. You can’t do this forever. I want to get that belt before I end this career. That is my number one goal is to become a world champion,” he said.

“I am here to be a world champion or everything that I’ve done up to this point will have been a waste of my time. I am here to be a champion and that’s it.”

Grant Dawson takes on Damir Ismagulov at UFC Vegas 76 from the UFC APEX on Saturday night.