Having spent a year on the sidelines without a fight, light-heavyweight Sheldon Doll wouldn’t be remised if he was disappointed by the situation, but he takes it in stride.
Understanding that sometimes things happen outside his control, Doll has instead focused on what he can control, and has used his time off to the best of his ability.
“It’s a pretty consistent thing in terms of martial arts; guys get injured or pulled out; so if a fight fell through I wasn’t too worried because it just gives me an opportunity to keep training and getting better,” Doll told MMAWeekly.com.
Prior to his layoff, Doll had won five straight fights, to which he credits his finding a more dependable training situation with his team at CMC MMA.
“When I moved to Lethbridge and started training with Lee Mein, Jordan (Mein) and those guys, with just constant classes available and just great team and training partners all the time, the consistency was different,” said Doll. “I came from a small town before this and coming to a bigger city there was always availability for training partners and classes.
“There is a learning curve, and sometimes we plateau, and within this last year I continue to trend upward and feel myself consistently get better. Even within the last six month I’ve just felt the skill development increase.”
On September 27 in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, Doll (7-3) will look to add a title to his resume when he faces Graham Park (6-2) in a 205-pound championship co-main event at Unified MMA 38.
“Graham is a great competitor,” Doll said. “He always comes in shape. Physically he’s gifted and he’s got a great skillset.
“For me it’s capitalizing on opportunities and making sure I’m not making errors while capitalizing on errors he makes. That’s where I’ll look for the finish; there’s no particular way I’ll try to predict it; it’s just a matter of seeing what opens up in the fight itself.”
Having missed so much time of late, Doll is looking to be active in closing out his 2019 as long as he’s healthy enough to do so.
“Being active would be the best, but I judge based on how my body feels,” said Doll.
“That’s a big thing towards the longevity of your career is trust in your body, so we’ll see how everything goes in this fight and listen to how everything feels (with my body), and if an opportunity pops up and we feel great, then being active would be perfect.”