It doesn't happen often, but occasionally a fighter who loses out in the elimination round of the Ultimate Fighter earns a second chance to make his name in the octagon. Such is the case with Drew Dober, who lost to Daron Cruickshank via one-round unanimous decision during the Ultimate Fighter: Live (the fifteenth TUF iteration). Since his TUF loss Dober has gone 4-1, with three submission wins and his sole loss a unanimous decision at the hands of Bellator prospect Will Brooks. He announced his signing to the UFC via Twitter:
It's official, I will be fighting in the UFC, Nov 30th on the TUF finale.— Drew Dober (@DrewDober) November 12, 2013
Sporting an overall record of 14-4, Dober is a product of the little known, Nebraska based gym Midamerica Martial Arts (responsible for producing TUF 10 contestant Abe Wagner). His resume is a bit short on competition, but he picked up a submission win over UFC vet TJ O'Brien in his second to last fight out, by far the biggest name win of his career. It's a good sign, however, that his only losses in the last three years have come to strong opposition, the aforementioned decision to Brooks and a knockout loss to recent UFC pickup Junior Hernandez.
It's hard to get a bead on his style from his record alone. His recent string of submission victories (all by rear naked choke) are a good sign that he's hopefully diversifying his game from a more pure striking base. Here's some footage of Dober giving a good account of himself in a regional Muay Thai event. It shows that he has some decent striking, although much like the Japanese kickboxing events a handful of years ago, where MMA fighters found good success, a lot of Dober's kickboxing ability comes from having better strength and conditioning, and in the case of Muay Thai a bigger focus on boxing fundamentals. While he has the ability to throw diverse strikes he can be a bit predictable in his selection. He doesn't have much of a wrestling base (weird for a guy from Nebraska) but is heavy on top when he gets the fight there.
Dober is set to make his debut on the TUF 18 Finale card, no opponent has been announced. To get fans better acquainted, here's a look at his most recent fight against a really strong prospect in Tony Sims: