UFC on ESPN 29: Alexander Hernandez vs. Drew Dober Preview and Prediction
The UFC makes a quick turnaround after UFC 249 with UFC on ESPN+ 29 on Wednesday, May 13. A light-heavyweight clash between Anthony Smith and Glover Teixeira headlines the event at the VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena in Jacksonville, Florida. Ovince Saint Preux bounces up to heavyweight to take on Ben Rothwell in the co-main event.
However, one of the most notable matchups on the card is a lightweight bout between rising lightweight stars Alexander Hernandez and Drew Dober. The winner will likely earn themselves a top 14 lightweight opponent in arguably the most competitive division in the UFC today.
Alexander Hernandez took the UFC lightweight division by storm when he announced his arrival with a 42 second first round knockout of Beneil Dariush back in March of 2018. He filled in short notice to take on the more experienced Dariush and earned himself a performance of the night while shocking fans with a stellar knockout of the former lightweight contender. Hernandez has compiled a 3-1 record during his time and has defeated Beneil Dariush, Olivier Aubin-Mercier and Francisco Trinaldo. His only loss was to Donald Cerrone back in January 2019 where he suffered a second TKO defeat. Despite losing, Hernandez proved he was ready to face top competition and both participants earned themselves a fight of the night performance. He is currently averaging 3.93 significant strikers per minute and 2.46 takedowns per 15 minutes making him a well-rounded threat to any lightweight in the UFC.
If knockouts are your thing, look no further than hard hitting lightweight Drew Dober. Dober is currently on a two-fight win streak which has come at the expense of Marco Polo Reyes and Nasrat Haqparast. He joined the UFC back in 2013 and has compiled 8-5-1 UFC record. Although he has high school wrestling experience, Dober is not afraid to stand with anyone due to his lengthy background in Muay Thai which he started at the age of 14 and became a two-time Amateur World Champion. Dober has certainly found his rhythm as of late and has compiled a 5-1 record in his last six UFC appearances while continuing to impress fans with memorable performances. 2020 could be the year that Dober elevates his mixed martial arts game to a new level and establishes himself as a top 15 lightweight.
This fight has fight of the night written all over it. Both lightweights are incredibly exciting and have fought high caliber opponents throughout their UFC careers. The winner of this bout will undoubtedly earn themselves a top 14 lightweight opponent as Hernandez is currently sitting at #15. The key to this bout will be if Hernandez tries to take Dober to the ground where he should have the advantage. Both men have shown their striking ability but Dober’s experience in Muay Thai widely outweighs Hernandez’s ability on the feet. Hernandez showed his maturity in his last UFC appearance where he handedly outpointed Fransisco Trinaldo using a basic yet effective game plan instead of the aggressive and fast paced approach he utilized against Cerrone. Dober’s game plan is no secret as he will look to keep the fight on the feet and attempt to knock Hernandez out.
This is going to be close fight, but I expect Dober to be able to keep this on the feet and eventually land on Hernandez. Hernandez is a fantastic prospect at lightweight and has fought some very elite competition in his short time in the UFC. However, it appears Dober has found his stride and I truly believe him when he says he can hurt anyone on the feet that stands with him at lightweight. After a thrilling back forth round one, Dober will earn himself a second round TKO and claim a top 15 ranking in the UFC lightweight division.
Fore more my articles, click here!
Andrew is a lifelong follower of combat sports. His passion began as a child and has only grown as an adult. Andrew holds a bachelor’s degree from Pepperdine University and a master’s from Texas A & M University. Outside of combat sports, Andrew currently works as a program manager for an aerospace manufacturing company. He has trained Muay Thai for seven years and continues to spar and train on the weekends when time permits.