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The group initially touched down in Arlington, Texas, where Dvorak’s coach, Jan Marsalek, competed on the undercard of the massive Canelo Alvarez-Billy Joe Saunders fight a couple weeks back.

While his coach dropped a decision to Kelvin Davis, the experience of watching the best pound-for-pound boxer in the sport right now turned the Czech mixed martial artist into a boxing fan.

“Canelo motivates me really, really a lot,” Dvorak said of Alvarez, who pushed his record to a staggering 56-1-2 when Saunders’ corner threw in the towel following the eighth round. “Before his fight, I saw some boxing matches, but I’ve never been a big fan of boxing.

“But now, I’m a big fan of boxing.”

Alvarez has that kind of impact on people, and Dvorak is hoping to have a similar impact on the flyweight division.

Fighter Timeline: Cody Garbrandt

After a successful first year that saw him make an immediate impression and climb into the Top 15 in the 125-pound ranks, the streaking “Undertaker” is keeping things pretty simple as he readies to compete again this weekend.

“It was a really good year for me because I stepped into the UFC and I won those two fights, which was my big dream,” he began, reflecting on his rookie season inside the Octagon. “Everything is perfect. It’s a dream for all fighters (to compete in the UFC), but now I want another two fights and to sign a new contract with the UFC; that’s the plan.

“I want two fights, and it doesn’t matter who the opponent will be — I don’t care,” continued Dvorak, his confidence evident in the tone of his voice. “Doesn’t matter if it’s (Deiveson) Figueiredo or “Triple C” (Henry Cejudo) or Paiva; it doesn’t matter — we just want two fights and a new contract.”

The first step towards achieving that next goal comes Saturday, when he squares off with the 25-year-old Paiva, who has rebounded from losses in each of his first two UFC appearances to collect consecutive victories and land one spot behind Dvorak in the flyweight rankings.

Though he acknowledged that Paiva presents some unique challenges, Dvorak’s confidence is unwavering.

“He’s just another opponent. We’ve studied his fights, what he does, and we’re prepared for everything. I cannot make mistakes, and I just focus in on our goals.”

And those goals are simple: two fights and a new contract, it doesn’t matter the opponents because in the end, they will all rest… in… peace.

 


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