Photo via Dobson's Instagram

UFC on FOX: Glendale’s Shana Dobson Trying to Make Up For Lost Time

On Saturday night, Shana Dobson (3-1, 1-0 UFC) returns to take on Contender Series signee Lauren Mueller (4-0, 0-0 UFC) in a women’s flyweight showdown.  The matchup will serve as the UFC Fight Pass headlining bout.

After a tenure on The Ultimate Fighter season 26, Dobson impressed in her promotional debut at the finale card.  As part of the undercard, Dobson brutally knocked out fellow cast member Ariel Beck in the second round.  One of the least experienced fighters on the UFC roster, Dobson attributes much of her success in the bout to her time on the reality show.

“For any up and coming fighter, their dream is to just train,” explains Dobson.  “It was nice to get that for six weeks.  As one of the newer fighters in the game, I just wanted to be a sponge.  It did suck being away from our families and everything we knew, but it was totally a training for the mind.  I feel like it you can do TUF, you can do anything.  If you can be away from everybody who usually talks to you before you get out there in the cage, it makes it just you.  It makes you a stronger fighter.”

Dobson felt a mix of emotions after finishing Beck on national television.  As one can imagine, Dobson was jubilant to pick up her first UFC victory.  Deep down inside, however, she wanted to find something to criticize herself about– something she could improve on.

“I was so hyped after getting the finish,” says Dobson.  “It was amazing to be up there on the big stage.  I thought back to me watching the UFC fights on TV and saying one day I would do that.  It’s still such a blessing to be able to get in there.”

“And while, I didn’t have to worry about anything afterwards– I’m hard on myself,” laughs Dobson.  “When I stepped out of the cage, I looked at my coaches and asked what I did wrong.  They had to tell me we didn’t need to talk about that right now.”

Dobson’s self-criticism lies in her competitive nature, and her belief that she should always be learning and improving.  “I don’t want to ever be someone who is comfortable,” describes Dobson.  “You’ll end up meeting that fighter who is your maker.  I definitely want to always be evolving.”

Whatever kind of mindset Dobson is in, is clearly working.  The 29-year-old school teacher has made vast strides in such a short period of time.  A member of Team Lloyd Irivin, Dobson has only competed professionally four times– a tremendously low number for a member of the UFC roster.

“It’s crazy how everything has been progressing so quickly,” says Dobson.  “My main thing I want to do is earn my keep in the UFC.  Because I haven’t been fighting for a long time like a lot of these girls, I have to make up for lost time.  There’s no time to sit here and fall behind.”

Her opponent on Saturday night, Lauren Mueller, turned heads in her first main stream MMA bout this past summer.  As a relative unknown with almost no fight tape out there, Mueller defeated Kelly McGill on the Contender Series.  The victory was enough to earn Mueller a UFC contract– the only one given to a female fighter that season.  The UFC brass apparently weren’t the only ones impressed.

“[Mueller] had a badass bout and got that decision win,” says Dobson.  “I like this matchup. It’s going to be great stylistically for me. I know she’s gritty and a grinder, but she’s not going to get in there and be boring.  I like to mix it up and she seems like a girl who likes to mix it up.  No matter where the fight goes, we’re going to put on an awesome performance.”

“My camp that I’m in right now has been the most intense, meticulous one I’ve ever been in in my life.  I’ve got to give up to my team at Team Lloyd Irivn and my coaches who came beforehand.  They’ve molded me into this animal that I’m becoming.  I definitely know it’s going to be fun and look good.”- Danger


To learn more about Shana Dobson, follow her on social media:

Facebook: Shana “Danger” Dobson
Twitter: @shana_dobson
Instagram: @danger_dobson

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Nolan King is a MMA Today senior columnist, writer and renowned MMA insider. Nolan's other freelance work can also be found on FloCombat, Tapology, and MMA Brasil.