Russell Doane (12-3-0) is latest Hawaiian warrior to be signed to the UFC. The bantam weight will be making his debut in the octagon at UFC Fight Night 34 in Singapore against fellow newcomer, Leandro Issa. Doane has been fighting professionally since 2008 and is based out of 808 Top Team on the Island of Oahu. In-between training sessions, Doane was able to take a moment to talk to SciFighting.com about the upcoming bout.
Getting the Call:
“I was at work and I do carpentry for a window company and we were just about to start cleaning up my job site and my manager calls me,” said Doane. “We have pushing for the Singapore card, because there are also two other Hawaiians on it. So he calls me and says, ‘Guess what? We’re going to Singapore!’.
I don’t even think I reacted the way he wanted me to because instead of being like ‘Oh Ya!’ I was like ‘Oh man, wow.’ I was in shock. I just sat down and I couldn’t even work. I had all this excitement and I didn’t want to make a fool out of myself. So I just sat there. I couldn’t do anything.”
The Long Road to the UFC:
Doane has fought for a number of notable promotions including PXC, King of the Cage and Destiny MMA. He has also held titles in these promotions. Doane trains under Ronald Jhun who is also a veteran of the octagon along with number of other coaches with various specializations.
Doane got his first experience with the UFC organization when he tried out for TUF 18 earlier in the year.
“I had my gimmick going into it,” said Doane. “I did my hair in a nice side comb and after the grappling I walked over and I was like ‘How’s my hair?’ Everybody who gets in has some sort of character. That was mine.”
The Singapore fight will not be Doane’s first experience abroad. He has traveled to fight in the Philippines, Guam and California.
When asked about fighting in Singapore Doane replied, “It wouldn’t be such a big thing if wasn’t the Big Show it would be just another day at the office. It is something that I have done for so long, but now there is so much added stress and pressure. There shouldn’t be and a lot of people are saying “Ya, its just another fight,’ but what they don’t realize is that we have put so many years into this. This is the big show, this is the major league, this is the NFL you know?”
“I have always trained super hard and push myself to the limit. When I train I like to bring myself to the breaking point and then see what I do from there. This time, as hard as I train, I told myself that once I get that call nothing I have ever done up to this point is enough.”
“Hawaiians have that fighters mentality. We are just raised that way, where there is fighting around us,” said Doane. “Everybody knows Hawaii fighters come to fight. In our heads this is do or die. A lot of people will say ‘ya, I grew up fighting in the streets.’ I personally have never been in a street fight in my life. So I don’t follow that, but I do have a passion for hitting people. That’s for sure.”