TUF 9 was certainly a memorable season. First and foremost it was the only time the UFC has chosen team based upon the fighters home countries. Team U.K. was coached by the always brash, always cocky Michael Bisping and Team U.S.A. was headed by future Hall of Fame fighter and multiple time world champion Dan Henderson. The UK may have won the show, but the USA won the war as Henderson knocked Bisping out in the second round of their UFC 100 match-up.
Only one of the fighters from Team USA remains on the UFC roster at this time while many of them have gone on to fight for smaller organizations. One such competitor is Cameron Dollar. The Colorado native has bounced around a bit with fights under the Ring of Fire, No Mercy Extreme Fighting, Bring the Thunder, Legacy Fighting Championships, Fight to Win, and Scrap Live organizations.
Dollar lost his only UFC fight to Jason Dent on the Ultimate Fighter 9 Finale and subsequently won his next five fights including victories over Kit Cope and former UFC lightweight Alvin Robinson. His past two fights have not gone his way as he lost to Carlo Prater at LFC 7 and he then dropped a Unanimous Decision to Cody Bollinger this past September. Now Dollar is back and ready to make a run in the featherweight division. I had a chance to talk to him recently and got some insight on what he’s been up to and where he plans on going.
Bryan Levick: Where are you currently training in preparation for your fight on Friday night?
Cameron Dollar: Right now I’m training at Pariah MMA in Colorado Springs. The team I train with is Team Fight Factory. My two main coaches are Drew Lawrence and Lee Douglas and some of my training partners are Ramico Blackmon who was recently training with Frankie Edgar to help him prepare for his fight with Benson Henderson. Justin Guthrie, Scott Pleve and Ricky Muskgrave are also helping me get ready for my fight.
BL: Did you enjoy your time on The Ultimate Fighter?
CD: Oh yeah I absolutely loved it, it was an awesome experience. It was nice to see I had already taken a step in the right direction as far as my training was concerned. It was amazing to see the way Henderson carried and handled himself. He had such a huge level of confidence and it was a real learning experience.
BL: What did you think of Michael Bisping?
CD: He was actually a really cool guy. When the camera gets in front of him he turns it up a notch. He wasted no opportunity to talk smack, but otherwise he was a good guy. He was pretty level headed most of the time.
BL: What have you been up to since the show ended?
CD: I haven’t been fighting as much as I would like. I just fought Prater and lost to him. Other than that I’ve been staying low-key. I would love to get into Bellator or one of the bigger organizations. I feel as though I’ve improved tremendously. When I was on the show I was portrayed as just a wrestler with horrible stand-up., but I have improved my stand-up significantly.
BL: Can you tell me about your next fight and your opponent?
CD: I am fighting Justin Houghton for Seth Daniels’ Fight to Win promotion which is based in Colorado. I’ll be defending my featherweight title. From what I have heard he wants to stand with me and thinks he’s going to knock me out. He’s been telling anyone who will listen that I have no heart. That’s a complete slap in my face; I don’t know where he gets that from. He’s never been pushed the way I have or fought anyone like I have faced. I feel as though I have an advantage in all aspects of MMA, everyone he has fought as a pro has had a losing record. He’s in for a rude awakening and has bitten off more than he can chew.
BL: What are your goals over the next twelve months?
CD: My goals are to win whatever fights I am in and I would like to be on a bigger, televised promotion. It doesn’t matter if it’s Bellator or Strikeforce I just want to fight the top guys in the world. I believe I am every bit as good as the top five featherweights in the world.
BL: Is there anyone you’d like to thank?
CD: I’d like to thank my gym, my trainers and coaches at Pariah MMA. You can visit www.pariahmma.com for more information on the team. I’d like to thank Rockford Fosgate, Springs Automotive Group and Cure Colorado Medicine. You can find me on Facebook or on Twitter @CameronDollar.