Grant Dawson (17-1 MMA, 5-0 UFC) will look to remain unbeaten in the Octagon when he meets Ricky Glenn (22-6-1 MMA, 4-3 UFC) at UFC Vegas 41 on Oct. 23.
Dawson was originally slated to fight Diego Ferreira, the No. 11-ranked lightweight on Oct. 2, in what would have marked his foray into the top-15. Ferreira suffered an injury, and the fight was scrapped. With Ferreira likely on the shelf until December, Dawson, who wanted to stay active, took the fight with Glenn.
“I’m going to go in there, beat up Ricky, and then in December, I’m hoping to get the Diego fight again,” Dawson told MMASucka. “He wants the fight. I want the fight. My team wants the fight. His team wants the fight. I’m pretty sure the UFC wants the fight, because they already set it up. Barring no injuries come from my Ricky Glenn fight, in December, it should be Diego.”
Dawson said the Glenn fight is “interesting” for him, as he went from a top-15 opponent to someone he acknowledged is 4-3 in the UFC. He was adamant that he will not underestimate Glenn, though.
“On paper, it looks like a match-up where I’m just going to absolutely demolish him,” Dawson said. “I understand how tough Ricky is. I understand he’s not going to go away, and he’s got a little bit of danger factor. We have a saying in our gym: ‘You can sleep on the opponent, but never sleep on the game, or the game is going to make you sleep a little longer.’”
While Dawson said he will not sleep on Glenn, the higher stakes this fight presents won’t matter in the end.
“I really think I’m going to be the first man to finish him inside the Octagon,” Dawson said.
“KGD” predicts a third-round rear naked choke over Glenn.
When it comes to potential bonus money, Dawson feels Glenn is tough enough to make for a possible Fight of the Night scrap. However, the one-way traffic Dawson believes he’ll inflict on Glenn will prevent it from being a Fight of the Night.
“I don’t think that he’s skilled enough to make it a Fight of the Night candidate. I think he’s going to hang around. I think he’s going to be able to take the beating. I just don’t foresee him being able to fight back enough to make it a Fight of the Night. Fight of the Night is usually when both contestants are making it really exciting and it’s really back and forth. I don’t see this being back and forth. I think this is a tough fight. I don’t think this is going to be an easy fight, but make no mistake, this is not going to be a close fight. I’m going to run through him like I’ve run through everyone else in this division and promotion.”
Dawson, in his UFC tenure, stopped Leonardo Santos, Darrick Minner and Mike Trizano, and earned decision wins over Julian Erosa and Nad Narimani.
Although Dawson feels he will finish Glenn, he believes it will ultimately come down to Glenn.
“I think whether he gets finished or not is really going to be determined on how hard he wants to try to make this competitive,” he said. “I think the harder he tries, the easier it’s going to be to finish him. The safer he plays, and the willingness to accept position over risk, then I could see it going to a decision. My goal going into this fight is to be his first UFC loss by finish.”
Should Dawson prevail over Glenn, he wants the Ferreira fight rebooked. The decision will ultimately be in the hands of his management, as well as his coach and fellow UFC fighter, James Krause. Dawson, who trains with Krause at Glory MMA and Fitness, said he goes to Krause once his management team, Iridium Sports Agency, provides a fight offer.
“If [Krause] likes it, I say yes,” Dawson said. “If he doesn’t like it, we move on. It’s really not a me thing. It’s more whatever my coaches and management want to do. No matter who they offered me, I’m going to say yes. I learned a long time ago that letting people take the lead for a reason; letting coaches take the lead and letting these decisions get made by people who are better at making those decisions.”
Dawson, who rose to prominence in the Nebraskan and Midwest regional circuit, said he’s seen a lot of talented fighters from Nebraska compile poor records due to accepting unfavorable match-ups.
“In Nebraska, we have a lot of really, really, talented, hard working fighters with absolute shit records and no hope of making it to the big show,” Dawson said. “I always wondered why these awesome fighters aren’t doing well. It’s because of the strength of their schedule. I feel like they’re taking anybody, anytime, anywhere. It sounds cool on paper, and it sounds cool when you get it tattooed on your elbow. In real life, anybody, anytime, anywhere, a lot of things can go wrong and a lot of things can happen.
“If we’re going to do anytime, anywhere, then what’s the point of a manager? A manager’s job is to take care of you, grow you and get you not easy fights, but fights that are at your level. I’m really good at learning from other people’s mistakes. That’s what I saw in Nebraska. When I moved to Kansas City and started training under James, I told him, ‘here you go, I’m going to do whatever you tell me to do. Don’t even ask. If you like it, just say yes.’”
UFC Vegas 41 is set to go down from the UFC APEX on Oct. 23. It will air live on ESPN+.
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