Heading into this year, the Elevation Fight Team member had won three straight and five of his previous six appearances, with the bout against Dariush in March standing as the step up in competition Dober had long requested.
While he was ultimately forced to tap to a slick triangle armbar late in the second round, the fight wasn’t as one-sided as the final outcome might lead people to assume and there were definitely positives Dober took away from the experience.
“Failure is what makes people better,” he began. “Losing is God-awful and I don’t want to repeat it, but failures are what make people grow, so as long as you take something from it, that’s key.
“(That fight) showed me that I’m able to perform exceptionally against all the top guys. There’s not anyone in the Top 10 of the division that I’m intimidated by and I think I can perform well at every level, including the championship level.
“I think that first round — even Beneil talked about it — I almost finished him, and being a fan of Beneil, no other fighter has done that to him,” added Dober, who stung Dariush with a right hand two minutes into the round and repeatedly got the advantage of the striking exchanges over the opening frame. “That second round humbled me and taught me the things I still need to develop.
“But even though I lost and it sucks, both the first and second rounds are huge confidence boosts and learning experiences.”