Shana Dobson is Ready to Take on the UFC Flyweight Division
We catch up with UFC Flyweight Shana Dobson as she prepares for her fight against Sabina Mazo on the Cormier vs Miocic headlined UFC 241 card on Saturday August 17th in Anaheim, CA.
How did you get started in MMA?
I grew up in Maryland, where I played a lot of soccer. When I left college, I moved to Texas. I was looking for something to do to keep fit and I found this boxing gym in a shopping plaza. I went in and hit the pads with a coach there and in minutes I was exhausted. I became obsessed. I went back every day. It felt really natural for me.
In no time, the MMA coach invited me to train with the MMA team. In six months, the coach signed me up for a fight in Oklahoma without telling me. He said if he didn’t, I wouldn’t have done it. I took the fight and won with a rear naked choke in the first round. That was in 2012 and it was the moment I realised that this is what I wanted to do.
What attracted you to Team Lloyd Irving?
I was moving back to Maryland. My girlfriend was starting university and I wanted to get back to being closer to my family after The Ultimate Fighter. I had been training with James Vick at Phalanx MMA and Genesis in Fort Worth. He trained with Lloyd Irving, so I asked him to introduce me. Lloyd Irving welcomed me with open arms. He is a great coach – really well planned, invested in his fighters. He makes sure we get what we need in terms of our training. He is always set up for me when I get into the gym.
Women’s Flyweight is an extremely competitive division. What’s your plan on how you will rise to the top?
I have seen how the other flyweights strike. My striking and boxing is more fluid. I have natural boxing – I don’t just use mediocre striking to get to the ground. I am very technical. I am like the Amanda Nunes of the Flyweight division.
Who are you looking to take on after Sabina Mazo?
I am going to keep that a surprise, but she knows who she is. I am going to invite her to come to my city, DC, in December.
What motivates you?
First and foremost, I do this because I love it. I do it to entertain. I also do it to represent the LGBTQ community. As an LGBTQ minority female fighter, I can inspire others to realise that MMA is available to anyone. When someone reaches out to me on Instagram saying that I have helped them or inspired them in some way, that means everything to me.
Follow Shana Dobson on Instagram to stay up to date with her training and upcoming fights.