Just a few years ago, the situation Bobby Green currently finds himself in would seem improbable but here he is.
Saturday at UFC Fight Night 202, Green (29-12-1 MMA, 10-7-1 UFC) will headline his first event in his 19th fight with the promotion when he takes on surging contender Islam Makhachev (21-1 MMA, 10-1 UFC) at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas.
Despite the ups and downs, Green has never been more popular than he is right now at age 35. The uptick in attention and buzz parallels his successes inside the cage. Although there have been defeats, Green has proven time and time again he can bounce back better and better.
For manager Jason House, of Iridium Sports Agency, who has worked with Green for the past 13 years, the turnaround came in June 2020 when his client battled Clay Guida. The feeling of having his back against the wall spurred Green, according to House. From that point forth, Green became comfortable with being counted out and turned it into a catalyst of his success.
“To Bobby’s credit, I feel like whenever his back is against the wall and he responds well,” House recently told MMA Junkie. “Every fight since then has been amazing. I feel like he was one of the stars of that COVID era. He had some great interviews and put on some great performances and really had a career resurgence.”
Fourteen days after his UFC 271 unanimous decision win over Nasrat Haqparast in Houston, Green looks to extend his winning streak to three. Given the circumstances and Makhachev’s position as potential on-deck title challenger, House thinks Green will earn himself a title shot with a victory.
“When Bobby Green wins Saturday night, I think the case will be crystal clear that he deserves a title shot,” House said. “Anyone that can go in on a week’s notice and beat an amazing fighter like Islam Makhachev deserves a title shot.”
So how does Green go out there and win? How does he defy his status as a +550 underdog (via Tipico)? Is there a way he can defeat a fighter unbeaten in nine-straight UFC fights?
“You have to go back to his experience,” House said. “He’s a big-game quarterback. He’s been in a lot of big fights throughout his career. I really feel like he’s been prepared for this moment. Bobby shines in these types of moments. He’s been a notorious underdog in his career. He’s always done really well in that position. He is someone who can come in on short notice and perform really well. Look at a lot of his fights. He is very good in these types of situations.
“A lot of people need to understand his style is very awkward. He has a very unique style. It’s hard to prepare for Bobby Green. He’s always done really well against wrestlers. Obviously, Islam is one of the best in the world. I have so much respect for him but I truly believe this is going to be an amazing fight Saturday night. I feel like we’re going to see the best Bobby Green.”
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Author: Nolan King