Lightweights Dawson (20-1-1 MMA, 8-0-1 UFC) and Green (30-14-1 MMA, 11-9-1 UFC) will headline UFC Fight Night 228 on Oct. 7 at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas.
Dawson is currently ranked in the UFC’s top 10 at 155 pounds but sees a win over fan favorite Green propelling him forward regardless. Green is coming off a submission win over Tony Ferguson at UFC 291, and Dawson thinks underestimating him would be a grave mistake.
“Rankings, to me, doesn’t make any difference,” Dawson told MMA Junkie Radio. “I’m not fighting backwards in this fight, I’m not fighting forward, I’m just fighting. That’s what it is. Islam Makhachev got a title shot off of beating Bobby Green, so anything can happen in this sport. Bobby Green, if I’m not on my game and if I don’t respect him like he deserves to be respected, I’m going to be looking up at him off of my back getting woken up by the referee.
“I know how dangerous he is. I know how much experience he has. I know what a big following he has. I am ready for a very, very competitive and a very, very strong fight. I don’t like it when people are like, ‘Oh, you’re fighting behind.’ There is no fighting behind. We’re just fighting, that’s it. The only spot that matters is who’s champion. That is really the only thing that matters.”
If Dawson gets past Green, he hopes to draw Dan Hooker next. Hooker (22-12 MMA, 12-8 UFC) returned to the win column in July when he edged out Jalin Turner in a thrilling battle at UFC 290.
“After Bobby Green – obviously I’m only focused on Bobby Green, but after Bobby Green, we’re looking to fight against Dan Hooker,” Dawson said. “Assuming everything goes well, and I think that would be one of my breakout performances.”
Although a risky approach, Dawson thinks his willingness to fight anyone and remain active will eventually pay off and lead to his goal of becoming champion. Dawson is unbeaten in his past 12 fights.
“As long as I keep winning, I don’t think that they’ll be able to deny me much longer,” Dawson concluded. “I think that by the end of 2025, we will have a new champion and his name will be Grant Dawson.”
For more on the card, visit MMA Junkie’s event hub for UFC Fight Night 229.