Drew Dober: In the Heat of Battle
On January 27th this year, Drew Dober and Frank Camacho went hell for leather in North Carolina as part of the undercard for Jacare v Brunson before Dober ultimately took the unanimous decision and both men earned fight of the night honours. SpitballingPod recently had the pleasure of catching up with Dober following the big win, and tried to gain an insight as to what it’s like being in the octagon when such a fire-fight is taking place.
Even when preparing for a fight, the prospect of a back and forth affair like what eventually transpired on the night is enough to motivate Dober through a tough training camp, ‘All his previous fights are him just biting his mouthpiece and swinging heavy, so that’s the kind of fighter that compliments my style’ he said when asked for his original thoughts on the matchup.
‘I knew it was the kind of fight that Frank was prepared for and so in my mind it was nailed on for Fight of the Night or Performance of the night depending on whether I knocked him down or we did fifteen minutes of ‘punch face’ he explained, when asked whether he was at all surprised with the way the fight went down.
It’s one thing to expect a ‘Fight of the Night’ kind of battle, but it’s another thing to stay true to expectations when the going gets tough; We often hear commentary references to the game-plan going out of the window, and so it was interesting to hear Dober’s take on whether he did switch things up when it was clear the direction the fight was heading in – ‘‘I don’t even change the mindset, I just wanna go in there and give the opponent hell for 15 minutes and if they go down at some point between that then it’s beneficial. My plan before I even get in the cage is to go to war for 15 minutes’.
After a hellacious first two rounds, Dober headed into the third, knowing that the fight was likely on the line and he needed to seal the victory with a domineering final five minutes – ‘It’s definitely a lot more pressure and I head into it with a lot more enthusiasm, I knew it was one and one heading into that final round, so I think it just really reminds you that you need to be on the top of your game’ he said.
Once the fight was over, the Nebraska native faced the exasperating wait for the judges to compile their scores and decide who has won the fight, he explained what was running through his mind while this is all taking place, saying ‘For me, the fight kind of happens a lot differently in your head. So while standing there, I remembered the mistakes I made and all the things that he did well, so I was up in the air about it. His takedowns were scoring points, but at that point I had no idea, so while standing there I just had to think ‘lets the chips fall as they may’.
So much of what happens on fight night is determined by the weeks prior to the fight, it was interesting to hear how Dober prepared for his opponent, explaining ‘Primarily I just work on my game; I want to be a better fighter, every time I step into the cage. But yeah, when I get a fight scheduled, I look at my opponent and see whether he’s left or right handed, does he stand or wrestle – basically I just get a good base of what my opponent is and from then on I try to improve myself’.
While some opt for trash talk to gain a mental advantage before the night of the fight, Drew told us that it’s not something he needs to get himself motivated, saying ‘I can’t trash talk whatsoever, so I’m just trying to have fun. Fighting itself, getting in the cage and performing in front of millions of people, that’s just something in itself that gets me excited. I don’t have to hate my opponent at all; he’s just some guy that is dancing with me’.
The 29 year old first got into martial arts by watching Jean Claude Van Damme movies, but now he says he feels like a ‘real life super hero, bleeding, sweating and crying for the public’. It remains to be seen who he will fight next, but Dober insists that he’s planning on getting ‘Fight of the Night’ or ‘Performance of the Night’ whenever he steps into the octagon!