It has already been a frustrating year for Grant Dawson, but after a false start in January and a change of opponents, the 26-year-old will finally return to the Octagon this weekend, facing Darrick Minner.
Originally booked to face Chas Skelly at UFC 246, the fight was postponed to this weekend after Dawson retired from the competition. Two weeks ago, Skelly was forced to go out with an injury, which prompted Minner to pass. Despite the challenges and changes, Dawson remains one of the best emerging prospects in the division, having won consecutive victories inside the Octagon since he impressed on season 1 of the Contender series.
Although a victory over Minner does not have the same weight as the Skelly experienced in combat, a sixth consecutive victory in total would continue to propel the beginner trained by James Krause in the ranking.
29-year-old Minner is a tough Midwest fighter in the mold of Anthony Smith who just likes to get rid of, as Saturday’s fight with Dawson will be the 35th appearance in his career. His resume is littered with familiar names and he arrives in Norfolk after winning three of his last four, including consecutive efforts to close 2019 after failing in his initial bid for a UFC contract last summer on the Contender series .
This is a “risk free, all rewards” opportunity for Minner, so don’t be surprised if he walks out aggressively and seeks to cash out this lottery ticket on Saturday night.