On eve of UFC bout, Doerksen rejects underdog status


, 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 worlds 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, hasnt fought in the UFC since April 19, 2008, when fellow Canadian Jason MacDonald knocked him out in Montreal. Doerksens 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 hes not supposed to win. Dont tell that to Doerksen, however.

I just know hes a good wrestler, a tough, scrappy guy all around, Doerksen said. Hes a tough opponent. Obviously Im not a stranger to fighting tough guys, so its not a big deal.

Hes going to have more wrestling experience, but I think probably I might be a little stronger in the submissions, and the striking games a bit of a question mark. Weve 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 hes much more confident in that department.

Ill maybe take a punch or two at (Lawlors) 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 Ive picked it up, he said. At 32, I just feel mentally stronger. Im more disciplined. Its not as tempting to go out drinking when youre 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.