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Drew Dober restricting thoughts of breaking Dustin Poirier’s KO record at UFC on ESPN 59

Drew Dober admits a pursuit of the UFC lightweight knockout record has been a disservice to him in the past, so he’s taking some key lessons into Saturday’s UFC on ESPN 59 matchup with Jean Silva.

Dober (27-13 MMA, 13-9 UFC) enters his showdown with Silva (13-2 MMA, 2-0 UFC) in a tie with Dustin Poirier for most knockout wins in divisional history at nine. He’s had sole possession of the record before, but him and “The Diamond” have juggled it back-and-forth over the years.

Given Silva is a hard-hitting striker himself, there should be chances for Dober to finish the fight on the feet. His motivation to do that is self-serving in the purpose of victory, however, and not to take back the record for himself, because he’s gone down that road before with negative consequences.

“The thing is I received that record not even thinking about,” Dober told MMA Junkie on Tuesday. “I think the moment I started thinking about it, my performances kind of dipped. So no, I’ve stopped thinking about it. Knockout record is great – we’re also tied for the guillotine record (at zero).”

More than any record, Dober is simply grateful for the chance to compete at UFC on ESPN 59, which takes place at Ball Arena in Denver (ESPN, ESPN+). As a Colorado resident, Dober said he needed to be on this card regardless of the circumstances.

Dober, 35, proved that after he went through multiple opponent changes and wanted to stay on the lineup, even if it meant accepting a name like Silva, who is moving up from featherweight and making a quick turnaround from his knockout of Charles Jourdain at UFC 303 on June 29.

“I wanted to fight on July 13 in Denver, Colorado, against anybody,” Dober said. “I honestly didn’t care. The difficult part is I feel I’m all risk and no reward right now. I have the knockout record, and I’m not a ranked opponent right now. I can understand the hesitation (from other fighters), but Jean Silva, he’s a gangster and he accepted it.”

For more on the card, visit MMA Junkie’s event hub for UFC on ESPN 59.

Story originally appeared on MMA Junkie