The Severe Spotlight: Drew Dober

In seven minutes and forty-five seconds, Drew Dober absorbed 73 strikes (according to That equates to a strike absorbed, every six seconds. There are intangible skills that when someone walks into a gym, looking to become a fighter that it is difficult to teach. Toughness, grit, and determination when in chaos are some of those skills. A display of those skills does not necessarily equate to smart fighting, but they are, at the highest levels of the sport, essential.

Drew Dober walked into the first round looking to present the tactical, conventionally skilled version of himself. His usual, skippy bouncing style with his Captain America haircut shuffling as he moves, met Bobby Green’s initial teep to the body and follow up straight with a smile. This is what he wanted, expected, and signed the contract for; a Bobby Green who was going to bring the fight to him physically, and verbally.

Green touches him with the left hand a couple of times before after an exchange in the pocket Dober decides to close the distance, getting to double-unders. Dober has pulled Green to a hip, lofted him up into the air and as he goes to mat return Green, Green manages to shift his weight, off balancing Dober. Green posts his left hand, and left foot to the mat and wins top position from Dober. Hastily Green attempts to take the mount, but Dober denies him, trapping the leg and claiming inside position with his elbows, he scrambles his hips backwards, heisting up and freeing his leg from the single leg attempt from Green., circling to his right with another wry grin.

That foreshadowing of things just not going how it was planned is poetic for both Dober’s recent career and the fight game. For the next two minutes Dober struggles to deal with the unorthodox counter punching of Bobby Green. Green is slipping and countering, circling and countering, gliding in and out of range and countering. All whilst giving Dober a running commentary of both the strikes he is missing and how ineffective the shots that are landing feel.

So, there is a dilemma. If he stays outside the pocket, the long-range straights come, the teeps bat away his advances. If he tries to push into the pocket, the slips and the counters are there. He is biting on feints, and is waiting and freezing in footwork beats, apprehensive of what Green will throw next, and Green watching and seeing all of it, punishes him every time. Hence, we fall back to the tripod of rare, but necessary skills.

Blood splattered across his nose; Dober doesn’t relent on his attempt to land. The low kick and the left hand being his best weapons. You can notice that the person has transitioned into a darker version of themselves as the smile has evaporated, replaced by a crimson smear and glazed eyes. That toughness begins to take the edge off some of the shots from Green, who despite landing consistently, can not force Dober to take a back step. Can not force him to stop looking for counters, for entries, for an ability to turn his lights off.

The bell rings, and the smile returns.

Round two begins with a similar pattern, however those left hands and those low kicks are finding their mark with a little more vigour. A spinning backfist lands over the top of a Green left hand. The answers for Greens counters have become more proficient, catching a kick and landing the right hook. A slip of the left hand to land his own, a jamming low kick as Green throws. The tide of confidence is rising in Dober.

With two minutes twenty seconds left Dober once again marauds forward eating a Green left hand, to land his own. But this time he comes with a left hook that connects well, followed by a right hand that connects equally well. Green successfully leans away from the first left hook, but the second is coming before Green has a chance to find a hiding place for his chin. It lands flush, and he crumples.

A coffin nail or two before Dober wheels away to kneel and pay his respects to his opponent. The roaring fire of toughness, grit and determination dragged him through yet another stern test.

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