Islam Makhachev is finally set to make his highly anticipated return. Welcoming him back to the Octagon will be the streaking Nebraskan, Drew Dober.
At 18-1 and training the majority of his career alongside the undefeated lightweight king, Khabib Nurmagomedov, Makhachev has garnered a lot of attention in his own right. However, Dober believes that can mostly be attributed to his connection with “The Eagle.”
“I think a lot of the hype comes from when you have one of the greatest of all time Khabib talk so highly of you, plus Russian fans follow their athletes whole-heartedly,” Dober told MMA Junkie. “So I think a lot of his hype comes from Khabib and the fanbase and all that stuff and not really so much his accomplishments in the cage. Honestly, that’s what I’m trying to test out, to kinda see if that hype is really all there and that kinda thing. I don’t really see the hype being warranted, but we’re here to find out Mar. 6.”
For the Russian, his lone career loss came via knockout in his second UFC appearance back in 2015 opposite Adriano Martins. Since then, Makhachev has dominated his way through six different men to earn a No. 14 spot in the rankings.
Makhachev’s last fight came in September 2019 when he picked up a unanimous decision over Davi Ramos at UFC 242. Meanwhile, his next opponent in Dober (23-9) has looked better than ever with three straight knockouts since that same year. Dober’s lone loss in his last seven fights came against the equally red-hot Beneil Dariush.
Despite his feelings about Makhachev’s hype, Drew Dober is relishing the underdog role as he sees his opponents’ fanbase take to social media.
“It’s more eyes on my fight, and the more eyes the merrier, and I get super excited about it so I’m really just enjoying every moment of this camp,” he said.