Matt Dixon thought he was being pranked.
After receiving a text from UFC matchmaker Sean Shelby, Dixon made sure to confirm the number with his management team. It was Shelby and he was offering Dixon a chance on “Dana White’s Contender Series.”
The 24-year-old is now scheduled to face Orion Cosce on the third week of the show’s fourth season on Tuesday, Aug. 18.
“This time they reached out to me specifically, I don’t know how they got my phone number. I don’t talk to them like that, but it worked out perfectly,” Dixon said. “Sean Shelby was the one that texted me, I was like, “Dude, I honestly think this is a fake number,” so I sent it to my manager and he confirmed it was really him.”
“When those guys talk to you, you listen”
Timing is not everything for Matt Dixon. It’s the reason the welterweight prospect turned down previous offers from the UFC.
The previous opportunities never came directly from the UFC. Most of the time, the offer was more general. The promotion was looking for a welterweight prospect, not Dixon specifically.
Once “Magic” confirmed who the text came from, he could not say no.
“There’s no perfect time, I just had to sit back and say, ‘Whenever a guy like that reaches out to you specifically and they’re not just looking for another 170 pounder,’ that changes things for me,” Dixon said. “I have a lot of respect for Sean Shelby, I have a lot of respect for Mick Maynard, I have a lot of respect for Dana White. When those guys talk to you, you listen.”
“I know I’m ready”
Undefeated at 9-0, Dixon holds quite the resume. He won and defended the Xtreme Fighting League Welterweight Championship. Dixon made his Legacy Fighting Alliance debut most recently, earning a unanimous decision win against Justin Patterson at LFA 83 back in March.
He takes on a fellow unbeaten prospect in Cosce, who finished all six of his opponents. The Oklahoma native can also finish the fight, winning six of his nine bouts by stoppage.
A UFC contract is what Dixon has been after, but Dixon wants more. He is eying a long-lasting career inside the octagon.
Dixon is the first to say he can be better, but there’s no time like the present.
“I’ve obviously taken my time in this sport. I’ve had to battle adversity in fights. I’ve had to go through those tough wars,” Dixon said. “I know I’m ready.”
Connor Northrup once covered municipal meetings and promised himself never again. He is now combining his passion for Mixed Martial Arts and reporting all into one.