Hakeem Dawodu Delighted To Be Working Alongside ‘The Best In The World’ At SBG Ireland
One of Canada’s hottest prospects, Hakeem Dawodu, will make his UFC debut on March 17 and he’s currently over in Dublin, Ireland training at SBG Ireland.
Dawodu, 26 years old, will take on Danny Henry at the London 02 and is unbeaten as a professional with a record of 7-0-1.
Speaking to MMANytt.com this weekend, Dawodu explained how the opportunity to train at SBG Ireland came about and how his coach had originally planned for him to train elsewhere.
“My coach is actually friends with John Kavanagh and they go way back,” Dawodu said. I was originally going to work with Greg Jackson, but then my coach was like, they are 0-21 right now, it may not be the best move. So then he hooked my up with John and now I’m here. My coach was concerned about the vibe at Jacksons and he was the one that decided I should go somewhere else and I trust his judgement.
“They’ve got amazing sparring partners and some of the best training partners and coaches in the world here. Back in Alberta, I didn’t have anyone like this to train with. I was getting a bit stale because I didn’t have anyone to train with. It’s very different here, I’ve been working with everybody, but not Conor [McGregor] yet.”
Settling into Ireland hasn’t been totally smooth though. Dawodu admitted he’s still getting to grips with some of the finer details of living this side of the Atlantic.
“The only time I’ve been a little nervous while I’ve been out here so far is when I’ve been driving,” Dawodu said. “The roads are a lot of narrower and smaller down here.
“It took me some time to get used to it and I’m still trying to get more comfortable. It’s fine though. As long as I’ve got my GPS going it’s alright.”
Dawodu has been working with some of the best that SBG have to offer. With a number of his training partners also preparing to fight on March 17 if they get the call, he’s got no shortage of people to work with.
“Out here they just have a lot more high level people to work with,” Dawodu said. “Me and Artem [Lobov] are going to have a nice sparring session on Sunday and I know he’s hoping to get on the card. Makwan [Amirkhani] is also potentially looking at getting on that card as well along with John Phillips as well.
“There’s a whole bunch of people training hard and preparing. We got a load of high level people getting ready now so we are coming to London in force.”
UFC London goes down on March 17 and will be headlined by a heavyweight contest between Fabricio Werdum and Alexander Volkov.