Nebraska’s Drew Dober (6-0) isn’t old enough to drink or engage in most of Las Vegas’ debauchery. It didn’t matter, though, because he was in Sin City for strikes, submissions and groundand- pound as the winner of FIGHT’s first “Full Time Fighter” experience—the chance to train with renowned striking trainer Shawn Tompkins and his team at Xtreme Couture.
”I can’t even begin to tell you how much I learned in just the seven days I was out there,” says Dober. “The work ethic and the caliber—what they’re doing that I’m not doing here in Nebraska. Pretty much the most I took from it is the mental game.”
Dober experienced little of the glitz and glamour of Sin City in his first trip to Las Vegas. He describes his training as physical and mental ball busting. Mark Hominick was his main training partner—the guy who roughed him up the most. Mike Pyle “beat the crap out” out of Dober and Junie Browning and Dave Kaplan ran him ragged on an “individual basis” in the morning before the afternoon’s professional practice.
Despite a technique and experience gap, Dober entered camp like a seasoned veteran. Tompkins told fightmagazine. com: “What I was real happy about when I picked him up at the airport was to see that he came in shape.” Arriving in Las Vegas ready for intense workouts allowed Dober to make the most of his experience rather than working on getting in shape.
Thus, small details were his camp’s focus. Tompkins recognized Dober’s well roundedness and simply layered his game. Rather than standing stationary and striking in-and-out, Tompkins corrected Dober’s technique and incorporated angles, emphasizing body shots.
“I got really close to Shawn Tompkins himself, Emily Tompkins—his wife, Sam Stout and Mark Hominick. I was rooming with those guys,” reveals Dober, who stayed in Tompkin’s house, which doubles as his fighter house. “I spent like the entire seven days in that house basically talking to them watching movies, shooting the shit.”
The 20-year-old brought his experience back to Nebraska. His Jaco Clothing trunks and MMAWarehouse. com gear “are still soaking wet from sweat” since he immediately returned to training back home.
“I’m so excited that these pros showed me the mistakes that I was making,” says Dober. He’s no longer training “half-assed.” It’s intense, just like it was in Las Vegas. And he’s taking on a leadership role, ensuring his training partners bring it just as hard. It’s the product of working with a “world class guy” like Tompkins. Dober plans to head back to Xtreme Couture once he has the money. He’s grateful to FIGHT!, Tompkins, Jaco, MMAWarehouse, the pros at Xtreme Couture and everyone else who made this possible.
“I won’t let you guys down,” concludes Dober. “You’ll definitely hear my name again.”