Before Shana “Danger” Dobson once again graces the famed Octagon at UFC China on Nov. 24 in Beijing, the top flyweight contender sat down with Fightbook MMA.
If someone told you when you were growing up that you’d someday be fighting for a living, would you have believed them?
I would most def believe them because I was such a rough and tumble kid lol. I always loved playing tackle football with the boys in the neighborhood and play wrestling. I’ll never forget the time when I was about 9. One of the boys in my neighborhood knocked over my violin as I was coming off the bus. He was just a damn bully. So on a Saturday I went up to the playground and he was hanging from the monkey bars and I pulled his ass off and gave him the business haha. I guess I should’ve known.
What has been the biggest factor in your success as a martial artist?
The biggest factor in my success as a martial artist has evolved. Initially it was doing something so physically and mentally bad ass and pushing my body and mind passed its limits. Then when I started to compete with girls that had been doing this two, three times as long as me, it became proving that even though I’m greener than some, I’m still dangerous and I deserve to be here and I deserve to be among the top, if not AT the top.
Why do you fight?
I fight because one day I want my nephew to look at clips of his Aunt knocking chicks out and be like “damn Auntie!” Lol I do it for my loved ones and to make them proud. I do it for little girls that don’t wanna do ballet and play with dolls but think that they “shouldn’t”. I do it for female athletes, for the small handful of black women in this sport, for LGBT women in sports in general, that don’t necessarily “look like this” or “dress like that” but that are just true martial artists that have legit skill that deserve to be recognized.
How important is family to you?
Family is SO important to me. My sister, brother and my nephew are my greatest fans. My girlfriend is my greatest support. My mom and dad are my most underpaid coaches haha. Family is a big motivation for me every time I’m exhausted in the gym, hungry during weight cut, stepping into the octagon.
What do you most enjoy doing to relax and unwind when not training?
That one day out of the week that I’m not training (haha) I like to chill with my family and friends, watch trash TV, and play pick-up soccer at the park in DC.
What’s the best part of fighting in the UFC? What’s NOT great about fighting in the UFC?
Man I was a young one watching Ronda Rousey, Miesha Tate, Dominick Cruz, Anderson Silva, and so many more O-G’s being like “wow I wonder how big that octagon is; it looks huge!” Going from being in the gym, doing my thing to being able to showcase my skills in front of the world is surreal every day.
If you had to describe going to China to fight for the UFC in one word, what would that be?
What’s the most likely outcome for your upcoming fight?
Only one outcome possible. My hand being raised and my pretty smile in the camera ;).
If you bonus, where is that $50,000 going?
Gettin icey. Maybe some chains and grillz. Haha sike nah, Ari (my girlfriend) and I wanna buy a house so maybe that and maybe retiring from teaching to fully train!
How would you like to be remembered as a fighter?
Skilled, doin it for the culture, evolved, dangerous.