On eve of UFC bout, Doerksen rejects underdog status

KIRK PENTON, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 11:36 PM ET

Joe Doerksen resumes his UFC career in Montreal on Saturday night.

The New Bothwell native, who was the first Manitoban to fight on the world’s premier mixed martial arts circuit, will step into the octagon with Tom Lawlor at Bell Centre on the UFC 113 undercard.

If the fight is entertaining enough, it could end up being shown on the pay-per-view broadcast that will be seen in bars and restaurants across Manitoba.

Doerksen, 32, hasn’t fought in the UFC since April 19, 2008, when fellow Canadian Jason MacDonald knocked him out in Montreal. Doerksen’s UFC record is 1-5.

Lawlor is going in as the favourite against Doerksen. The 27-year-old won his only UFC bout over C.B. Dollaway on the UFC 100 card.

Doerksen was a last-minute injury replacement for the bout, so he’s not supposed to win. Don’t tell that to Doerksen, however.

“I just know he’s a good wrestler, a tough, scrappy guy all around,” Doerksen said. “He’s a tough opponent. Obviously I’m not a stranger to fighting tough guys, so it’s not a big deal.

“He’s going to have more wrestling experience, but I think probably I might be a little stronger in the submissions, and the striking game’s a bit of a question mark. We’ve both worked on it a lot in recent times, so that could be an interesting part of the fight.”

Doerksen has been working intensely with former world champion kickboxer Giuseppe DeNatale on the striking part of his game, and as a result he’s much more confident in that department.

“I’ll maybe take a punch or two at (Lawlor’s) head and see what happens,” Doerksen said.

Doerksen has been working with a strength and conditioning coach since his setback in Montreal two years ago, and he also feels he has matured outside of the octagon.

“In the last two years I’ve picked it up,” he said. “At 32, I just feel mentally stronger. I’m more disciplined. It’s not as tempting to go out drinking when you’re supposed to be sleeping.

“I find that if I take better care of my body, it takes care of me.”

Provided he survives his scrap with Lawlor relatively unscathed, Doerksen will headline the CFC 5 card at the Convention Centre on June 4.


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