The first fight of the night at UFC 214 sees Josh Burkman take on Drew Dober in a battle between a battle-tested veteran and a younger striker with decent power.
Burkman is a man in trouble, having won just once in seven outings following his return to the promotion in 2015. If he loses on Saturday night – and I suspect he will – the 37-year-old from Salt Lake City could well be handed his walking papers.
He faces Drew Dober, a squat, solid striker whose up-and-down form has seen him amass a record of three wins, four losses (plus one no contest) in his eight UFC bouts to date. He’s 2-1 in his last three, though, with Olivier Aubin-Mercier stopping him from racking up a hat trick of consecutive victories in his last appearance.
But I fancy him to get the nod over an aging Burkman here. The veteran has been stopped just once by TKO/KO in his 44-fight career, so Dober’s most likely route to victory is via the judges’ scorecards.
PICK: Dober by decision
Dober’s family affair
In his second UFC bout, Dober fought German Nick Hein back in May 2014 in Berlin. He lost the bout on the scorecards but picked up a new fan, Hein’s sister Gloria.
The pair met when Dober was introduced to Hein’s family after the fight, and the pair hit it off at the after party.
They later dated and, shortly after, tied the knot, meaning the two former opponents are now brothers-in-law.
Behind the scenes on fight week
Thanks to the UFC’s ‘Embedded’ cameras we can follow the fighters as they prepare for the big night in Anaheim. Here’s Episode 1, where the athletes make their final preparations at home ahead of their big fights.