Prospect in the Spotlight (Sept 24-25): AJ Dobson

Introduction

Tuesday, September 21st, American middleweight prospect AJ Dobson will be in action for Dana White’s Contender Series, where he will be looking to stay undefeated against Hashem Arkhaga. He will be looking for another win, as Dobson looks to score a contract with the UFC. He represents Carlson Gracie Team, a respectable camp in MMA. Let’s take a closer look at this prospect as this week’s “Prospect Spotlight.”

Strengths

Power Striking: Dobson’s best quality is his power striking. The man is a knockout machine that is aggressive on the feet, moves forward and does big-time damage when he lands. He has quick hands, as his boxing fundamentals are strong. He has some solid kicks as well, but he tends to stick to throwing hands. He moves well on the feet as well. He’s able to move in and out of range effectively and his lateral movement is also solid. All that put together makes Dobson especially dangerous.

Fast Starter: If you’re sharing a cage with Dobson, be on notice now; he’s going to come out of the box swinging. Dobson gets to work early and does damage quickly. Four of his five pro wins have come in under 90 seconds. That includes his most recent win over Contender Series fighter Kailan Hill, who Dobson blew through in 35 seconds. That could hurt him if the fight extends past the first couple minutes, but he’s shown he can fight consistently on his way to a 15-minute decision.

Needs Improvement

Experience: Despite having six amateur fights and six pro fights, Dobson needs more experience as a pro fighter. His most notable opponent is UFC vet John Gunther, though he fought him (twice) as an amateur. His pro opponents have not been very notable to this point. His most recent fight saw him knock out fellow prospect Kailan Hill. That is his biggest win thus far, which shows that he needs to fight better, more experienced opponents going forward. That will help us gauge his talent more accurately.

Outlook

UFC Midcarder: Dobson still has a lot to prove, but with his athleticism, talent and ability to improve, he has a good ceiling at this point. The middleweight division in the UFC is a shark tank, so there are no easy fights, but Dobson is a dangerous guy that will get better as he takes more and more fights. Do I think he will be a top-15 fighter in the UFC? I doubt it, though he could certainly prove me wrong. However, I do think he will be a guy that cracks the top 50% of the division, especially with how well-rounded he’s proven. Plus, with how fast of a finisher he is, Dana and co. will love him and give him a number of chances to entertain the UFC fans.

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