After enduring a four fight losing streak, UFC bantamweight Russell Doane was able to rebound in his last fight this past June at UFC Fight Night 111 with a first round TKO of Kwan Ho Kwak.
Following the win, Doane shifted his attention towards the business side of the sport, before finally returning to focusing on his own fight career of late.
“After (the win last June) we opened a gym at home and things got a little busy for me,” Doane told MMAWeekly.com. “I became a gym manager more than a fighter. That’s kind of how I ended up here at Team Oyama. I had to get away from it. I’m not ready to be a gym manager. I’m a fighter.
“I was still training (back home), but it wasn’t the same. There were so many things to worry about, so many other things to take care of; my family and whatnot. I couldn’t focus solely on my training.”
10 years and over 20 fights into his career, Doane feels like now he’s able to more appropriately apply his skills in fights and hopes it will pay dividends in his 2018 campaign.
“I’ve always been explosive and athletic and I’ve always been a good fighter, but I think I’m smarter now than ever,” said Doane. “Before I would just go in there and just fight, but now I’m smarter and I take my time a little bit more and can adjust. Before I would just kind of go in guns blazing.”
Doane (15-7) will look to pick up back-to-back wins for the first time in four years when he takes on Rani Yahya (24-9) in a preliminary 135-pound bout on Saturday in Orlando, Fla., at UFC on FOX 28.
“Rani is a vet, and he’s a nice guy, a respectful guy, and he goes out there to win,” Doane said. “I’m going to go out there and implement my game plan.
“If he wants to go to the ground, I’m not going to let that happen. I’m going to make sure we stand up. I’m going to stuff every take down, pick him apart, and make it hell for him.”
Now that he’s gotten off his losing skid, Doane is looking to rebuild his career in 2018 and put himself in the title discussion if possible.
“I’m going to win every fight they throw at me this year, for sure,” said Doane. “By the end of this year I want them to talk about me for title contention.
“I want them to talk about me coming out of left field, and taking about me again the way they did when I first started. I want to break into the rankings and be in the Top 15, Top 10, this year. I’m going to make my comeback.”