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UFC on FOX 27 card: Drew Dober vs Frank Camacho full fight preview

MMA: UFC 214-Burkman vs Dober Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Welterweight scrappers Drew Dober and Frank Camacho will square off this Saturday (Jan. 27, 2018) at UFC on FOX 27 inside Spectrum Center in Charlotte, North Carolina.

After a rough start to his UFC career that began in 2013, Dober has finally found his groove. The kickboxer has won three of his last four bouts, which includes his first pair of UFC knockout wins. On the other hand, Camacho has competed just twice inside the Octagon, splitting those fights. Luckily, Camacho still managed to make a name for himself in those appearances, which resulted in a pair of “Fight of the Night”-winning brawls.

Let’s take a closer look at the keys to victory for each man:

Drew Dober
Record: 18-8 (1)
Key Wins: Jamie Varner (UFC on FOX 13), Scott Holtzman (UFC 195), Josh Burkman (UFC 214), Jason Gonzalez (UFC 203)
Key Losses: Olivier Aubin-Mercier (UFC 206), Efrain Escudero (UFC 188), Nick Hein (UFC Fight Night 41)
Keys to Victory: Early on, Dober struggled to find consistent success because he didn’t truly excel in any one area. Since then, however, Dober’s kickboxing has grown more dangerous, and the holes in his grappling have sealed up well.

In this bout, Dober wants to mix it up. Camacho is a sharp — if hittable — pocket boxer, and he throws at high volume. Luckily, Dober likes to trade from that range anyway, as his height tends to eliminate the strategy of working from the outside.

As the two box from the pocket, Dober can give himself an advantage by using all facets of his game. For example, mixing in some low kicks to destabilize his foe’s stance could be big and generally ending combinations with kicks would help shift the momentum into Dober’s corner. In addition, the last time Dober faced a forward-moving slugger in Holtzman, he was able to use clinch takedowns to great success. Dober would be wise to counter Camacho’s pressure with the occasional shot, which helps keep him honest even if the takedown fails.


Frank Camacho
Record: 21-5
Key Wins: Damien Brown (UFC Fight Night 121), Keita Nakamura (PXC 42)
Key Losses: Jingliang Li (UFC Fight Night 111), Han Seul Kim (PXC 54)
Keys to Victory: Camacho is a slugger. He walks forward, bites down on his mouth piece, and throws down more often than not, but Camacho can also show off his more technical side on occasion with sharp combinations.

This has all the makings of yet another fun, back-and-forth battle to add to Camacho’s resume. Luckily, Camacho tends to thrive in such situations, and he has some advantages leading into this one. In competitive fights, there are a pair of factors that tend to sway the judges more than anything else:

  1. Which athlete is moving forward?
  2. Which athlete is throwing more?

On the whole, Camacho does his best to assure that he is the leading man in both situations. Even in the exchanges where his opponent whacks him in the face, Camacho steps in and returns with three more shots. Aside from his experience in brawls, Camacho does have both a height and reach advantage. If he can parlay that into an effective jab, it would help him control more of the exchanges in this match up.

Bottom Line: UFC wanted to open this FOX card with a slugfest.

After California State Athletic Commission (CSAC) took note of Dober’s heavy re-hydration at UFC 214, he was somewhat forced to move to Welterweight. This will be his first appearance at that weight since his debut, meaning it’s something of a fresh start for the Muay Thai fighter.

Dober was pretty firmly in the bottom half of the Lightweight division, but a win here could at least bring him to the middle of 170 pounds. Progress is progress, and the 29-year-old has definitely been performing at a higher level than earlier in his career. Alternatively, a loss leaves Dober trapped in that bottom half still, just in a new division.

Camacho’s situation is odd as well. His drop to Lightweight was a fun fight and his sole UFC win, but he could not make the weight. His only UFC bout at Welterweight was a loss, but it was also a great scrap that “The Crank” accepted on short-notice. The long and short of it is that Camacho’s position is still quite uncertain. If he wins this bout, it could set him up for a more high-level bout next — Camacho definitely has a style UFC tends to reward. That said, a loss sets him back to 1-2 inside the Octagon, and while defeat won’t see him released, it doesn’t help his job security.

At UFC on FOX 27, Drew Dober and Frank Camacho will open the main card. Which man will remain standing when the dust settles?

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