Shana Dobson (3-1 MMA, 1-0 UFC) fights the debuting Lauren Mueller (4-0) at UFC on FOX 29 this Saturday.
It will be Dobson’s first appearance since her own debut when she TKO’d Ariel Beck at The Ultimate Fighter 26 Finale. She acknowledged that Mueller had more tape to study on her than vice-versa. Dobson’s bouts with Roxanne Modafferi and Beck are both publicly available, but isn’t fazed.
“I always say my opponent can be right there training with me, I’ll still get in there and do what I do to them,” Dobson told MMASucka. “[Mueller] can watch film on me. But that’ll be me and my previous camp. Just like I evolved from the Roxanne fight to the Ariel fight, I’m going to evolve from the Ariel fight to the Lauren fight.”
Dobson wasn’t able to find any tape on Mueller except for her fight against Kelly McGill-Velasco on Dana White’s Tuesday Night Contender Series in August. That was Mueller’s latest bout and the one that launched her into the UFC.
Dobson recalls seeing clips from the fight and when she heard she was matched up with Mueller, watched the whole fight. She said it gave her an idea of what her strengths and holes are.
“She’s pretty well-rounded, presses forward and she’s not a boring fighter,” Dobson said. “That’s a good thing for me. I know we’re going to put on a great performance.”
Mueller, who had been competing at bantamweight, will be making the cut down to flyweight. She’s undefeated at a weight class above Dobson, but “Danger” isn’t concerned and doesn’t think she’ll be at a size disadvantage. She does, however, have extra incentive to take Mueller’s ‘0’ off her record. Dobson also believes she has faced the stiffer competition.
“I definitely would love and look forward to breaking that undefeated record of her’s,” she said. “I’m glad that she’s undefeated. That’s good for her, but look at the quality of the opponents. I’ve been in there with OGs like Roxanne and the champ Nicco Montano.”
While Dobson fell short in those bouts, she handily finished 4-4 Beck. Three of Mueller’s wins had 0-0 records at the time, and McGill-Velasco was 2-1. She feels her experience on TUF and fighting women like Montano and Modafferi has better contributed to her overall evolution as a fighter.
“From my last fight, you’re going to see a more evolved version of myself,” she said. “You might see some of the same good things, but you’ll see a more technical, more rounded, more mature version of myself.”
Dobson is also used to being an underdog. That may once again be true of her next fight. As of Wednesday night, 72 percent of 545 Tapology users are predicting Mueller to win. Dobson isn’t surprised at that statistic based on Mueller being an undefeated fighter. In fact, she relishes it.
“I’ve been the underdog. I don’t have too much of a record,” Dobson said. “All of that is motivation for me as I go into these camps. I look to prove people wrong. Look at Rose [Namajunas] and Joanna [Jedrzejczyk] at UFC 217. Rose went into there as the extreme underdog and took Joanna’s belt. I know what I’m going to go in there and do.”
As for the result of the fight with Mueller, Dobson predicted it’ll either be a three-round brawl where she wins a decision or gets a knockout.
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