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“(Dober) doesn’t give up,” Riddell said. “He seems to keep the same pace and keep fighting no matter what. Even if it’s going bad for him, he stays in the fight. He does keep trying to win. He doesn’t wilt, so that’s cool. Props to him for that because, a lot of fighters, when it starts to go bad, they may have lost two rounds or something, the third, they sort of go, ‘Eh,’ start swinging and giving in. He seems to stay pretty composed.”

Even so, Riddell believes he should “outclass (Dober) everywhere.” If he succeeds in that, Riddell could very well find a number next to his name come next week. Although he is excited to fight in general, his focus hasn’t left his goal of climbing the division’s ladder quickly.

“Getting to the top is always the number one priority,” he said. “Going through Drew – Drew has been in the rankings…beating him shows that I belong in there.”

UFC 263 EMBEDDED: Episode 1 | Episode 2 | Episode 3 | Episode 4

A potential statement victory could not only set the tone for Riddell in terms of his own future, but also for his team’s. His City Kickboxing teammate Israel Adesanya will defend his middleweight title against Marvin Vettori later in the night, and the two have been able to push each other a bit as their crew made the long trip from New Zealand to Arizona.

Riddell says he gets “pretty serious” when it comes time to train but having “The Last Stylebender” helps him get into a more relaxed flow. The opposite is true as well, and it’s just another window into the cohesive unit that is City Kickboxing.


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