Grant Dawson has Nasrat Haqparast in his sights if a dream match vs. Clay Guida does not come to fruition.
Dawson (17-1) caught up with Fightful following his knockout over Leonardo Santos (18-4-1) at 4:59 of round three at UFC Vegas 22. Dawson called publicly for a fight with Clay Guida, but offered another option in this new interview.
"I'm down to fight anybody. I'm down to fight all these guys. I like the Nasrat [Haqparast] fight. He's coming off a big win and I think that's a stylistic match-up that works well for me. As long as it's a fight that makes sense for my career and works for me, I'm down to take it."
Dawson caught some flack for calling out the aging veteran; however, the 27-year-old fighter is not about to start listening to online chatter.
"The Clay Guida fight is just something I personally want to do," Dawson explained. "It's a dream match-up. Why should I not do something I want to do just because a bunch of people on Instagram think that the fight doesn't make sense. These guys don't understand fighting. These guys' potentials max out at assistant manager at Kinkos. Why would I even pay attention or listen to what these guys are saying? They don't know. I've gotten to 17-1, in the UFC, making over 100 grand a fight without them. So I'm going to keep doing that."
Dawson has become a legitimate lightweight fighter to watch under the tutelage of James Krause.
"He's the best. I think he's the most underrated coach right now. He finally starting to get the notoriety that he deserves," Dawson began. "I think he's finally starting to get recognition as a coach. I think one thing people don't really realize with James is all these other coaches are getting these phenomenal athletes that are already good at something."
Dawson cited T.J. Dillashaw and Justin Gaethje as examples of high-caliber athletes who came to mixed martial arts with a strong background in at least one discipline.
"All you need to do is teach them how to throw a punch," he asserted. "James is getting regular people. I took sixth place in my senior year at state. That's not very good. That's not something to boast about or being impressed with. But he's turned me into a 17-1 UFC fighter who is undefeated in the UFC. I think he's really not getting the credit he deserves but he's finally getting more credit than he's been getting."
Dawson earned a $50,000 Performance of the Night bonus at UFC Vegas 22. Most of that money is going towards purchasing his first home, as well as other investments. He did splurge a little though.
"I bought a bunch of Yu-Gi-Oh! cards," he shared. "I don't play past GX. Everything past that with the synchro summons. I don't understand it. I don't try to play it. That's why I don't compete in it. I actually wanted to go to tournaments and compete in it now that I've got free time and the money to do whatever I want, but they have such weird rules. I don't want to learn these rules. I have my deck from when I was a kid and I just want to keep playing that."