The UFC featherweight division showcases some of the most exciting talent the sport as a whole has to offer. Looking to join the new wave of contenders to Max Holloway’s throne is Grant Dawson. The Nebraska native makes his Octagon debut in Wichita, Kansas, at UFC Fight Night 146 this coming Saturday. Dawson comes into his maiden UFC bout riding a three-fight win streak having submitted Adrian Diaz on Dana White’s Tuesday Night Contender Series back in August 2017 to earn his contract.
“The Prophet” guarantees action every time he steps into the cage. Dawson has never seen the judges scorecard, having finished each of his 12 professional wins and being stopped once in the process. Fighting out of Glory MMA and Fitness, Dawson began his career as an amateur at the age of 18 and went on a 12 submission win streak, 9 of which were in the very first round.
Dawson won two fights via TKO before tasting defeat for the first and only time in his career to date. Hugh Pulley caught Dawson with ‘Travis Browne elbows’ as he attempted a takedown against the cage 35 seconds into the very first round.
Despite this, Dawson bounced back immediately, scoring a TKO win over Christian Camp just three months later. Another submission victory over Mike Plazola would follow before “The Prophet” got the call to fight Adrian Diaz for the chance of a UFC contract.
Opening up the fight with front kicks and a striking exchange, Dawson scored a takedown early in the first round to set the tone for the remainder of the bout. The younger Dawson was dominating his older opponent on the ground, landing strikes while applying constant pressure from full mount and inside Diaz’s guard. If it weren’t for the buzzer, Dawson would’ve secured the first-round finish. “The Prophet” sunk in a rear naked choke on Diaz to close out a dominant and impressive round that saw him spend 4 minutes and 1 second in control on the mat. Dawson finished the fight as he had ended the previous round. The submission specialist took Diaz’s back against the cage and got the finish with a rear-naked choke to earn his UFC contract.
The first opponent for Dawson is ‘Juicy J’ Julian Erosa. A fellow DWTNCS alum and The Ultimate Fighter Season 22 semi finalist, the game fighter holds a record of 22 wins with 6 losses and is currently 0-1 in his UFC career. Erosa suffered a setback at the hands of Devonte Smith, losing by knockout in round one at UFC Fight Night: Korean Zombie vs Rodriguez.
Erosa is moving down from lightweight for this fight with Dawson and, despite nine of his wins coming by submission, will look to avoid the takedown and grappling of the dangerous Dawson while utilizing his striking for the best path to victory.
It has been just under 2 years since we last saw Grant Dawson in the cage. Erosa has 15 more professional fights than “The Prophet” and has never been on a two-fight losing skid in his career. “Juicy J” looks to be a good measuring stick for Dawson to earn a fight with a fight with some of the divisions best and end 2019 with a number next to his name in the featherweight division.
Sports Journalist covering MMA, Boxing and Football. Huddersfield Town media team 2017-2018 Premier League season