Dane Nicolas Dalby suffered his third straight loss in April of 2018. In order to get back to his first post-UFC bout, he rehabbed from injury, and battled depression and alcholism. Today, “Lokomotivo” stands with a re-claimed Cage Warriors belt, a 5-fight run without a loss, and an impressive UFC win in Copenhagen, earning him the 2019 Nordic Comeback Fighter of the Year.
“For me, one of my biggest fights are coming up, literally and figuratively. Literally because I have committed to step foot in a cage to fight again after 1½ years away from the sport, after something that ended in me suffering 2 defeats in a row, the first ones in over 10 years of competitive fighting. But also figuratively. Figuratively because I have been battling a deep depression which resulted in alcoholism, apathy and hurtful behaviour towards the people I hold the dearest. Experiencing all of that and putting it behind me has been a very bumpy detour away from and back to the main-road that leads in the right direction.
How do you come back after a downfall like that? Can you imagine the self-doubt? Can my body still handle a gruelling fight camp? Is my mind strong enough to handle the sessions where nothing is working, doubt sneaks in and the lingering injuries that undoubtedly lie ahead play with your head? Am I strong enough physically & mentally to not just take the fight but to actually go in there and unleash the hell & fury I have in me when believe in myself and I’m running on all cylinders(plus nitro)?
Those are the questions that will get answered before summer arrives.” posted Dalby in disclosing to the public his struggles since losing twice in a row and being cut from the UFC. His fight in his return to Cage Warriors in 2018 against Carlo Pedersoli Jr., Dalby fell short in a split decision. But, instead of going further down in a spiral the “Sharpshooter” bounced back against Roberto Allegretti and Philip Mulpeter later in the year to lay the foundation for a strong 2019 and Cage Warriors title shot.
To start off this year, Dalby looked his sharpest ever. Putting on an impressive striking attack to stop Alex Lohore at Cage Warriors 103 in March in the promotion’s return to Copenhagen, Denmark in the main event to earn the welterweight interim strap.
Dalby next battled Ross Houston in a title unification bout at Cage Warriors 106 in June London, but the nearly 3 round war full of ups and downs for each of the damaged fighters ended when referee Marc Goddard deemed neither Ross Houston or Nicolas Dalby able to continue to a fourth round. While not a win, it was an impressive enough of a performance to get the Rumble Sports fighter signed to the UFC in time for the UFC’s debut in Denmark.
Photo by Cage Warriors / Dolly Clew
Dalby gutted out a win versus Alex “Cowboy” Oliveira in his hometown of Copenhagen for the UFC’s first trip to Denmark. From the start, the fight was electric for the first Dane to enter the cage at the event. It was also the return for Dalby back into the UFC, where he fought in 2015-2016.
It was an unlucky beginning for Dalby that ended up on the bottom of the Brazilian that cost him the first round. However, the second and third round were a different story where the Dane was able to use his striking and ultimately his grappling to get on top. In trouble late in the third round, the referee called the fight to the feet where Dalby was able to regain control, moving into full mount and punishing the “Cowboy” till the final bell.
The crowd went nuts as the Dane got the announced victory 29-28 on all score cards marking his glorious return to the Octagon and amazing 2019 for Dalby.