Cameron Dollar is only 23-years old but he has already attained what many will never be able to. Competing on the 9th season of the The Ultimate Fighter, Dollar looked to be on his way to becoming a full time fighter for the Ultimate Fighting Championship. Dollar competed as a lightweight for Team USA under legend Dan Henderson on the series and racked up two submission victories while on the show. Dollar’s momentum came to an end, though, with a first round submission loss to Andre Winner which cost Dollar a chance to compete in the finals. Winner would go on to compete in the finals against Ross Pearson while Dollar would be relegated to an preliminary bout on The Ultimate Fighter 9 Finale. Still, it was another chance for Dollar to earn a UFC contract. Unfortunately, the young native of Phoenix, Arizona ran into 27 fight veteran Jason Dent. A loss to Dent would end Dollar’s first opportunity in the UFC. It did not end Dollar’s desire to compete, however. We recently caught up with Dollar to talk about his time on the show.
How he got his start in MMA:

“I was dating this girl and this guy tried to move in on her at that time. And I was supposed to go fight this guy on the streets. I didn’t fight him but about a month later after the whole incident, I heard his name on the radio. He was fighting when fighting first started. They were doing fights at little local bars. On the radio I heard, ‘come check out Vinny V Hill, undefeated!’ And that’s the guy I was supposed to fight. So I was like, ‘aww man, you know this is legal, I’m signing up to fight him!’ So I signed up to go fight him but I couldn’t fight him. He was two weight classes heavier then me so they wouldn’t let us fight. But I showed up and was like ‘I came to fight, put me in there.’ I never trained or anything. I didn’t know that it was a sport. I thought it was just an anger and aggression thing. So I went and fought and won. And then people were like ‘where do you train at?’ I was like ‘no where’. So they’re like ‘come train with us!’ I was like ‘I didn’t know you could train for this stuff!’ So I started training and I didn’t even really know about the UFC. I saw the first Ultimate Fighter and I just thought that was cool. It was on TV and you were fighting for a $100,000 contract. You could make a living off of this and I enjoyed it. I told myself one day I’m going to do that. I’m gonna be on that show.”
Trying out twice for The Ultimate Fighter:
“I tried out twice. I tried out for season 8 and they kind of led me on that I made it. I got rid of everything and then found out I didn’t make it. Then they did season 9 and it was the same weight class. So I thought that this is a sign from God. I have to try out again.”
On whether The Ultimate Fighter helped or hurt his career:
“It has it’s pros and cons. I think it helped in the fact that I’m making more money then if I was never on the show but I think its hurt me quite a bit as well. The UFC is so quick to drop you if your not winning. If your not doing good, they don’t want you. Joe Silva even said to me that I’m young and need to work on my career. But I have done everything that he told me to do. Its got my name out there and I can get sponsors easier but its also hurt me locally because no one wants to pay me.”
On whether he would do The Ultimate Fighter again:
“I would love to do the show again. They more then likely won’t let me do it at 155 lbs again but if there is a 145 lbs season, I would definitely do it.”
How The Ultimate Fighter changed the way he trained:
“I take it way more serious. Its eating. You got to live it. I train two to three times a day. I get my cardio in, my jiu-jitsu, my stand up in. The public doesn’t realize it but fighters don’t live a glamorous life. You can’t work full time and train like you need to unless you are on top. You cant go out on party and you take away a lot of time from your family and friends. Its definitely opens your eyes. You have to live it.”
The key to The Ultimate Fighter:
“The key thing to The Ultimate Fighter is that you have to be confident. When I went on I only had two months to train. I didn’t take care of my body in there. It was like a dirty petri dish in there. Everyone was getting sick. You have to get through every fight unscathed.”
On staying focused between fights:
“Its hard. Its very hard. Its a battle between me and my coach. He rips into my ass every now and then if I’m screwing up. People want me to go out and party but I have to pull my head out. You have to have that goal and you just have to believe it. If your hanging out with all these people that just do drugs and play video games your going to get caught up in that whirlwind. I surround myself with well-off people that have done what I want to do. I just try to stay focused and not worry about my opponent. I just keep telling myself I got to stay fit. I was up to 175 but I’m back down to 165. I might do 155 lbs but I want to make 145 lbs my new home. I want to be undefeated at 145 lbs.”

About The Author

Josh Davis
President and Site Director
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Josh Davis is the owner and President of The MMA Corner, LLC. He has been a fan of mixed martial arts since seeing UFC 1 in his hometown. In addition to his The MMA Corner responsibilities, Josh is the editor of Scrapp! Fight Magazine. Josh has also written for MMA Unleashed and MMA Sports magazines. Josh also manages some of Colorado's best up and coming fighters and is dedicated to the positive promotion of the sport.