Lightweight standout Drew Dober is tired of seeing so many fighters in the division’s top 15 sit on the sidelines instead of risking their spot to fight someone with a lesser ranking.
Dober, who has seen himself bounce in and out of the rankings on occasion, will attempt to climb back onto the list when he meets Ricky Glenn, an Iowa native with a middling 4-4-1 record inside the Octagon, at a UFC Fight Night on October 7.
Ahead of his second appearance of 2023, Dober sat down with Mike Owens in a MiddleEasy exclusive interview to discuss his upcoming contest and why he signed on the dotted line for a fight that almost feels beneath him at this point in his career.
“The matchup isn’t as exciting as I want it to be, but Ricky Glenn has been offered to me in the past,” Dober said. “We were training for Ricky Glenn before he got injured and instead, I fought Terrance McKinney, so he’s been on the radar for a little while and if I’m going to be honest, I’d much rather stay active than waiting for a better opportunity. I love fighting so I told the UFC I’ll be ready by the end of September and this was the matchup that was presented to me. I don’t say no to fights, so it’s Ricky Glenn.”
On the cusp of once again breaking into the top 15 following a devastating first-round loss to Matt Frevola in his last outing, Drew Dober sees his fight with Glenn as a risk but recognizes that ‘The Gladiator’ is an undeniably tough opponent.
“Competition, no. It’s a risk. That’s what people think, that it’s a step down in competition, but that main event on October 7, Grand Dawson vs. Bobby Green, Ricky Glenn fought a draw with Grant Dawson,” Dober added. “Almost put him to sleep in that fight. So the thing with Ricky Glenn is he’s talented and he’s super tough. No one’s ever hurt him and it’s a slight risk for me. The dude is really talented but doesn’t have any name value, but like I said, I’m just trying to get into a fight.”
Speaking about his loss to Matt Frevola in May, Dober admits that he simply got caught, much like in his fight with ‘T-Wrecks’ last year.
“I think what happened is the same exact thing that happened with the Terrance McKinney fight,” Dober said. “I got caught, I dropped, but this time the referee stepped in. The referee could have stepped in during the Terrance McKinney fight, but he didn’t and I was able to come back. This one, I probably could have came back and won, but Herb Dean stepped in.”
Drew Dober Slams the Lightweight Division’s Top 15
Discussing the status of the lightweight division, Drew Dober recognizes the immense talent that currently sits in the top 15, but is admittedly frustrated by the trend of fighters opting to sit out in hopes of maintaining their position rather than risking it by taking on a fight with a lesser ranked fighter. Or in some cases, an unranked one.
“That’s why I’m fighting Ricky Glenn. Because all these guys [at the top] don’t seem to want to fight,” Dober revealed. “Every time I have been in the rankings, I have fought a man outside of the rankings because I don’t care who I fight. I’m just trying to fight as often as I can and I think a lot of these lightweight fighters need to take that medicine. Like this whole Conor McGregor vs. Michael Chandler… We’ve been waiting for about a year and a half for it and all these guys like, what is Renato Moicano doing? These guys in the top 15 are being a little too patient I think. I just want to see some activity.”
He continued, “There’s definitely a political thing and if you want to find yourself with the opportunity to take a title fight or a number one contender fight, but for me that’s just boring. I got into this sport to fight and this is what I absolutely love and we’re not getting any younger so I’m just trying to fight as often as possible.
“At the beginning of the year, I was calling out RDA, Jalin Turner, Dan Hooker. I was trying to fight all these guys. Renato Moicano. I was just calling people out and nobody wanted to fight, so I took a fight with Matt Frevola. It didn’t go my way, but I still pride myself on the idea that I will fight anybody. I don’t care. I’m not above fighting anybody and we’re gonna keep doing that.”
Should he one day work his way up toward the top of the 155-pound division, Dober has a few big names in mind for his dream fight, but one competitor, in particular, stands out to him above the rest.
“Michael Chandler. I would love to fight Michael Chandler,” Dober said without hesitation. “I’ve even said it to him in person. Like, ‘I’d love to fight you, man.’ But yeah, Michael Chandler, and Dustin Poirier. Charles Oliveira would be a super fun one. Yeah, I’m avoiding all the elite wrestlers in the lightweight division, but wrestling’s a little boring to me.
“I think a fight with Dan Hooker would be super exciting because Dan Hooker is tough, but that’s why I like the lightweight division. There’s so many high-level entertaining fights.”
Check out the full interview below: