Destiny MMA’s Russell Doane Looking to Win his Way Back Into UFC

Russell Doane
SINGAPORE - JUNE 17: Russell Doane celebrates after his knockout victory over Kwan Ho Kwak of South Korea in their bantamweight bout during the UFC Fight Night event at the Singapore Indoor Stadium on June 17, 2017 in Singapore. (Photo by Brandon Magnus/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

Honolulu’s Russell Doane is scheduled to compete in his first non-UFC fight since November 2013 when he meets Diego Silva at Destiny MMA on Saturday, March 2. His goal? To win and keep winning until he’s back with the UFC.

Doane (15-8 MMA, 3-5 UFC) was released after dropping five of six to the likes of Mirsad Bektic, Rani Yahya and Pedro Munhoz. The 32-year-old Hawaiian’s three UFC victories came against Kwan Ho Kwak, Marcus Brimage and Leandro Issa.

Hopes to Return to the UFC

Now back on the regional scene, Doane intends to win until the UFC calls. While he admitted he would sign with another top promotion if the right offer is there, he has his eyes set on returning to his old home.

“My heart is in the UFC, it just is,” Doane told MMASucka. “My dreams have always been in the UFC. I got there and I kind of shit the bed. I didn’t get to live up to my full potential. I feel like I’m a smarter fighter than I was instead of just being reckless as fuck. I’m smarter, I got to look at what things I could adjust, I’ve adjusted those things. If anything else comes along the way, I would have to really think about it. But as far as I know, it’s UFC or bust.”

Striker vs. Grappler

Diego Silva (11-4) will be Doane’s first opponent he’ll face since his UFC tenure. Doane noted that it will be a striker vs. grappler match-up, something that he’s grown accustomed to from his UFC fights.

Due to the limited tape on Silva available, Doane has only seen one of his MMA fights. However, he has a pretty good idea that Silva will attempt to take him down and put his Jiu-Jitsu to use.

“His wrestling doesn’t seem amazing. It seems like pretty basic MMA wrestling,” he said. “It’s not anything extreme but it is something to be cautious of because he’s a black belt. And let’s be honest, black belts have tricks up their sleeve that I haven’t seen so often.”

The striker vs. grappler match-ups Doane has encountered in the UFC have taught him valuable lessons, which have prepared him for Silva. He’ll be more cautious of Silva’s grappling credentials than he would have been otherwise.

“I see where I failed at controlling the wrestling range,” Doane said regarding his UFC fights. “I got a little over-excited with Pedro, and I came rushing in. With Rani, I just didn’t get that jab range yet. And with Bektic, he’s just a fucking giant, man. He grabbed me and I just fell to the ground.”

Home-Cooking in Hawaii

A noteworthy factor of this match-up is that Doane will have the home-field advantage. Destiny MMA is being held at the Filipino Community Center in Waipahu, a small CDP area in Honolulu. Instead of traveling to a foreign country one or two weeks out from the fight, Doane has had four weeks to prepare on his own soil.

“Honestly, I’m very much relieved,” he said. “I get to stay home for this, I don’t have to travel, and I get to relax in the sun and beach, things that calm me. Things that bring me my peace. It’s calming and helps me relax. Fight week is a stressful-ass week. Now that I’m home, it’s a little more off my shoulders.”

Doane said that being able to remain home and fight in front of his fellow Hawaiians factored into his decision to sign a one-fight deal with Destiny MMA.

“I do miss putting on a show for the Hawaiians,” he said. “They are a crowd. They’re like the Irish fans are at local shows. Irish fans are fucking crazy at shows. Even the local shows, they must be just as crazy. That’s just how Hawaiians are. There’s fights in the crowd sometimes, they get so crazy, they fight in the crowd. So this is going to be an awesome experience and I’m stoked.”

Doane’s Prediction

Doane suggested that he’s the most experienced and best opponent that Silva will have ever faced. That’s true in terms of the level of competition Doane has fought and defeated. He said it will turn out to be a good fight for him, while it’ll be a “good experience” for Silva.

“I’m going to take my time. I’m going to be smart and calculated until I find a crack. And once I find that crack, I’ll punch that crack until it breaks open.”

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