It’s easy to see why Stromsburg, Nebraska native Grant Dawson is so highly touted as a major Prospect in the UFC featherweight division. Having won 12 of his 13 professional fights, all by stoppage (9 submissions, 3KO/TKO), the UFC was ready to welcome him with open arms after his win on the Contender Series in 2017. So why is Dawson just now making his promotional debut this Saturday UFC Wichita?
In November of 2017 shortly before what we all believed what’s going to be his UFC debut Grant was informed that he had been found in violation of the substance abuse guidelines which monitored by USADA, small amounts of the long term metabolite for oral turanbull, much like Jon Jones. After being hit with a 2-year suspension, Dawson’s manager Joe Wooster, PR manager Robert Carver and coaches continued to fight the sanction through a process of appeals and cooperating with USADA to help prove his innocence.
Late in 2018 they were able to do just that and fully clear Dawson of any wrong doing and clear his name with the organization. Having talked to Grant, his coaches, and his manager over the last year it was a result they fully expected.
That being said, Dawson lost a year of opportunity at competition in a sport that already offers it’s athletes a small window to be relevant. Grant has said that USADA was professional in handling the matter but that the amount of time to sort through it all was frustrating.
“The Prophet” stayed active in the gym continuing to sharpen his tools and prepare for a moment he can finally embrace this weekend, his UFC debut.
Speaking with Dawson’s manager Joe Wooster, aside from the praise that he had for his fighter’s tireless work ethic he had this to say in regards to the USADA situation
“For anyone who may find themselves in a situation similar to Grant, don’t give up, don’t settle, fight your ass off. USADA isn’t out here trying to ruin careers, they just want to get to the bottom of things. If you’re patient, and willing to work with them, in the end if you’re innocent it will all come to light”.Joe Wooster – Manger
Grant, a product Glory MMA and fitness in Missouri will be in good hands Saturday with his coach and mentor James Krause in his corner.
Grant, you can add another tab on the relationship between you and James; co-worker.
As a Nebraskan, as a fighter, as a coach, and as a fan, congrats on having the mental fortitude to deal with the obstacles you’ve been dealt the last year and a half, and best of luck when you get to show the world exactly what Nebraska boys are made of.