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Grant Dawson vs. Bobby Green full fight preview | UFC Vegas 80

Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Lightweight talents Grant Dawson and Bobby Green will square off TONIGHT (Sat., Oct. 7, 2023) at UFC Vegas 80 inside UFC Apex in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Dawson has built his name slowly, picking up a couple wins each year since debuting in 2019. Jumping between divisions and struggling with making weight slowed his progress, but the end result is still a nine-fight unbeaten streak, a promising display of his overall potential. Green, meanwhile, has been doing this fighting thing for about as long as anyone can remember. He’s been in the cage with several different generations of top Lightweights, and “King” can still hang pretty darn well.

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

UFC Fight Night: Ismagulov v Dawson Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

Grant Dawson

Record: 20-1-1
Key Wins: Damir Ismagulov (UFC Vegas 76), Mark Madsen (UFC Vegas 64), Jared Gordon (UFC Vegas 53), Leonardo Santos (UFC Vegas 22)
Key Losses: None
Keys to Victory: Dawson is undoubtedly a ground specialist. Though his kickboxing has grown more formidable over the years, he still routinely wins fights by throwing opponents on their head and jumping to the back mount.

Realistically, Dawson should be expected to take down Green early. He’s taken just about everyone he’s ever fought down inside the first five minutes. Historically, issues only arise when Dawson fatigues a bit, and his takedowns grow less effective.

Therefore, managing his energy is going to be the biggest key here, especially in his first five-round fight. Dawson cannot count on the early submission win; he has to fight in a manner that can last 25 minutes. If he empties the tank grinding for takedowns from the first bell, he may find himself in serious trouble later in the fight.

He has to take the openings as they come. Wrestling Green is the goal, but forcing shots when they are not there takes additional energy. Green isn’t a huge knockout hitter, so Dawson can take his time a bit, exchange, then shoot at more opportune moments.

UFC 291: Poirier v Gaethje 2 Photo by Mike Roach/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

Bobby Green

Record: 30-14-1 (1)
Key Wins: Nasrat Haqparast (UFC 271), Al Iaquinta (UFC 268), Lando Vannata (UFC Vegas 5), Josh Thomson (UFC on FOX 12), James Krause (UFC: Fight For The Troops 3), Tony Ferguson (UFC 291)
Key Losses: Islam Makhachev (UFC Vegas 49), Drew Dober (UFC Vegas 66), Rafael Fiziev (UFC 265), Thiago Moises (UFC Vegas 12), Francisco Trinaldo (UFC Fight Night 164)
Keys to Victory: Green is about as slick a boxer as you’ll find in four-ounce gloves. He moves his feet and head quite well, allowing him to counter back with sharp and accurate pokes. He’s also a strong wrestler with good grappling, no stranger to the classic sprawl-and-brawl game plan.

Green has to put the pace on Dawson. Fighting from his back foot will see him wrestled along the fence, which is less than ideal. Instead, Green should be on the attack, pushing Dawson back with his body jab and straight to the chest from either stance. He has to make it difficult for Green to shoot, and force him to really work when “KGD” does try to wrestle.

In general, exhausting the gas tank should be Green’s goal. Make Grant work hard to take him down, make him work hard to hold him down, then bloody his nose and punish the mid-section when back on the feet. Years ago, Green strangled three-time All-American wrestler Jacob Volkmann by outlasting him and winning big in the third round.

Dawson may be a more modern fighter, but the idea is the same: break him down and punish his attempts to wrestle!

Bottom Line

It’s a huge moment in Dawson’s career.

At 29 years of age, Dawson’s first main event opportunity isn’t necessarily make-or-break, but it’s a pivotal fight all the same. He’s been vocal about his goals to replace Islam Makhachev, and he’s finally scored a spot in the rankings. Green is honestly a step backward from Ismagulov, so Dawson has to shine in this showcase and demonstrate why he should be in the title mix.

Anything less than a dominating victory hurts his stock.

As for Green, he’s upset plenty of young talent in his career, and he certainly has the skills to give Dawson hell over five rounds. He’s a tricky fight for just about anyone, and this bout serves an opportunity to show that “King” remains a top-tier Lightweight even if he’s no longer a title threat at 37 years of age.

At UFC Vegas 80, Grant Dawson and Bobby Green will collide in the main event. Which man earns the victory?


Remember that MMAmania.com will deliver LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire UFC Vegas 80 fight card right here, starting with the ESPN+ “Prelims” matches, which are scheduled to begin at 4 p.m. ET, then the remaining main card balance (also on ESPN+) at 7 p.m. ET.

To check out the latest and greatest UFC Vegas 80: “Dawson vs. Green” news and notes be sure to hit up our comprehensive event archive right here.

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