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Very quietly, Drew Dober has emerged as a person of interest in the Ultimate Fighting Championship’s lightweight division.
The Elevation Fight Team product won for the sixth time in seven appearances at UFC Fight Night 171, dispatching Alexander Hernandez via technical knockout 4:25 into the second round of their featured 155-pound encounter at VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena in Jacksonville, Florida on Wednesday night.
The makes three consecutive KO/TKO triumphs for the 31-year-old Nebraska native, who adds Hernandez to a recent list of victims that includes Nasrat Haqparast and Marco Polo Reyes. Dober, who began his promotional tenure with just one triumph in his first five fights, has designs on taking on the top-tier talent in the division.
“I want bigger and better fights,” Dober said after his latest victory. “I want to compete with the best in the world and to do so I have to keep winning. I want to fight the Khabib’s, the Conor’s, the Dustin Poirier’s of the world, and I just have to keep winning so I can actually put myself in the main event and compete with those guys.
“This is a huge dream of mine, I’m a huge fan and lover of the sport. Just being able to compete with the best in the world excites me.”
Dober had the advantage of working with newly-crowned interim lightweight champion Justin Gaethje during his camp for UFC Fight Night 171, and he credits his team for much of his success. At the moment, Dober still sees plenty of room for improvement as he readies himself to challenge the upper echelon of the lightweight division. While Nurmagomedov, McGregor or Poirier might not yet be a realistic goal, Dober targeted Paul Felder, who was seated cageside in his analyst’s role, in a post-fight Octagon interview.
“I need to go back to the drawing board,” Dober said. “I need to improve because there’s lots of mistakes I made in the cage tonight that I have to fix. Team Elevation is something special. The teammates and the coaches, we truly care about each other. We make sacrifices for one another. It’s not just another gym where it’s dog eat dog and everyone is trying to get ahead of each other; we try to carry each other. This is not just my victory, it’s a victory for everyone at Team Elevation.”
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