Drew Dober loves to fight, and he doesn’t care much when or where it happens.
That said, the 31-year-old lightweight, who’s won four of his previous five fights, can’t deny he embraces the chance to shine under the spotlight on one of the biggest cards of the year. He’d love nothing more than to steal the show and put on a “Fight of the Night” performance at UFC 246 on Saturday night.
While Dober takes on Nasrat Haqparast during the prelims, Conor McGregor will be warming up for a main event against Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone. Competing on a card headlined by McGregor always brings more attention, and Dober absolutely loves it.
“Just being on a card with all those eyes looking at the fight, plus having this matchup with this young, exciting fighter, who’s willing to stand and trade with me, having a “Fight of the Night” on a pay-per-view card with Conor McGregor on it would be picture perfect,” Dober told MMA Fighting. “Absolutely perfect. I’m here to entertain the fans, and the more fans that are watching my fights, the more excited I get.”
The end goal for Dober is always getting the win, but he’d be a fool to ignore the chance to impress the UFC fanbase. He’s a mixed martial artist first and foremost, but he understands that there’s more to the business than just wins and losses.
“I pride myself on not only being a fighter, but also being an entertainer,” Dober said. “It’s pretty cool that the UFC is noticing how fantastic my fights are. I’m open for the opportunity. It’s exciting, and this is just one step. Next step is co-main event, then main event and bigger and bigger fights.”
Prior to his booking at UFC 246, Dober was in talks with the UFC about a potential showdown against Gregor Gillespie this past November. The fight eventually fell apart, and he was forced to the sidelines, playing the waiting game. When Haqparast’s name showed up on a bout agreement, he couldn’t sign fast enough.
“I’m a firm believer it’s not who you fight, it’s how you fight,” Dober said. “So I’m just focused on myself and focus on getting more and more fights. I love getting in the cage. I feel like people love watching me fight. The more the merrier. Let’s get more opportunities. So for me, I don’t care who I fight.”
In Haqparast, Dober is still facing a prospect with a lot of upside who’s earned “Fight of the Night” and “Performance of the Night” honors in his previous two fights. That tells Dober he won’t have to go looking for Haqparast when they face off and start winging punches this weekend.
“It’s me rising to the occasion and showcasing my abilities against a guy that has amazing abilities on his own,” Dober said. “I love rising above tough competition and showing everything that I have.”