When Drew Dober gets booked into a fight, weird things happen
When Drew Dober gets booked into a fight, weird things happen published by Evanvinh
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Posted on 2016-04-18
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One of the spectators at Saturday night’s UFC on FOX 19 in Tampa was Drew Dober, who was supposed to be locked in the Octagon with Islam Makhachev. When it was discovered the 24-year old Russian had popped for a banned substance, the fight was scrapped at the eleventh hour.
Dober, who made weight and was given his show money for doing so, suddenly got the night off. In a roundabout way, the turn of events was par for the course for Dober, who has grown to expect the unexpected.
"I’ve had a very interesting UFC career," Dober told MMA Fighting, in relatively good spirits given the circumstances. "There was the no contest in Brazil [against Leandro Silva], and now we have these shenanigans. So, you just take what cards are given. Everything happens for a reason."
The Silva fight was overturned because it was determined by CABMMA that the referee made a mistake in the stoppage. Dober went from victim of a bad call to a participant in a fight that was utterly divested of meaning. And that particular weirdness came after his most memorable fight to date against Nick Hein in Berlin.
That was the time he lost a unanimous decision to Hein yet came home with a future wife. None other than Hein’s sister.
"I went over to Berlin, fought the German and in the post-fight party I fell in love with his sister," he says, speaking of his now-wife, Gloria Hein. "I definitely had to put some work in. I wasn’t able to put a ring on her immediately. We pen-palled for weeks and months, and decided to give it a chance, and it was one good thing after another."
Maybe for the Nebraska native Dober, things do really happen for a reason.
"I was walking up the arena to the concession stand, and I was approached by Nick’s father, who just wanted to say it was a great fight and stuff like that," he says, remembering the first time he laid eyes on Gloria. "Then he introduced me to his family, and his sister was extremely beautiful. So, that gave me a good reason to go to that post-fight party. I finally got the opportunity to talk to her and we just hit it off immediately. She’s such a great person, a strong and independent German. We exchanged emails and Facebook, and then one good thing after another."
All of this plays into his fight with Makhachev. Though he and Gloria are married, Dober had booked the fight hoping to wear a black eye to his wedding ceremony, which will be held just outside of Omaha in May. Now he’ll have to show up with a face that’s just as fresh as daisies, which isn’t emblematic of his profession, nor of the way he met his bride.
"I told [matchmaker] Joe Silva I’d much rather have a black eye for my wedding than not being able to eat the cake," he says. "So I asked if I could get a fight before May 27, and he said how about April 16? I was like, done. That’s what this fight was. As soon as this fight was done I was like, oh man, I wanted to get one in before this marriage."
So what now?
"I’d like to get back in there as soon as possible," Dober says. "I got the beginning of June for the honeymoon. But as soon as I get back from that I’d love to focus on a 12-week training camp. Probably in the fall. I saw that November is New York City…I would love to fight in Madison Square Garden. The nostalgia of being in the same arena of all the greats, man. That would be fantastic."
In the meantime, Dober made the most of his time in Tampa. He’s staying on an extra day or two to soak in the weather. At 27 years old, he’s gotten pretty good at rolling with the punches.
"It’s incredibly unfortunate," he says. "I put in the work, stayed clean, made sure I made the weight. The hard part was over and I was looking forward to the fun part and it was taken away from me. So, it’s no win, no loss. It’s kind of odd how things happened."
When Drew Dober gets booked into a fight, that commonly seems to be the case.
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