Exclusive: John Dodson Ready to Help the Flyweight Division Get the Attention They Deserve
The UFC and Fox are coming off what was quite possibly their best show since they partnered up in 2011. UFC on Fox 5 showcased a little bit of everything, including two young warriors defeating two proud former champions and a current champion cementing his spot as the top dog in the lightweight division.
In just 9 days the two giants will get together once again as they present UFC on Fox 6: Johnson vs. Dodson from the United Center in Chicago, Illinois. The main card has four bouts featuring some of the sport’s top stars including Quinton “Rampage” Jackson who may be fighting inside the Octagon for the last time.
Once again the main event will see two men vie for one of the coveted UFC championships as UFC Flyweight Champion Demetrious “Mighty Mouse” Johnson will face John Dodson. This bout is one of those match-ups where you don’t want to blink or turn your head away from the action for even a second. Dodson is grateful for the opportunity and is more than ready to become a champion.
“I’m hungry, very hungry. I’ve been cutting weight and making sure everything is going to be on point,” Dodson told BJPenn.Com Radio. “Everyone here at Jackson’s has been beating me up left and right making sure that I’m prepared for any situation. It doesn’t matter if I get held down, if I have to out strike him, if I have to move constantly, if I have to press forward or tickle him into submission! That’s the one I’m really going for, something really embarrassing!”
The match-up with Johnson should be a fast paced, high octane bout between two of the quickest fighters the sport has to offer. Neither fighter should benefit from any significant speed advantage so each man will have to rely on other aspects of their game in order to leave the Octagon with the title wrapped around their waist.
“I probably will have the advantage over him with my power,” Dodson offered. “I know our speed will most likely cancel each other’s out, I’m just as fast as him and he’s just as fast as me. The way that the both of us like to fight is opposite from each other. Demetrious is the guy who wants to play patty cake with you off of your face while I’m the dude who wants to kind of grind it into mashed potatoes.”
Dodson has come a long way in a very short period of time. The Albuquerque native has just three fights inside the Octagon all coming in the span of 13 months. Immediately after winning season 14 of The Ultimate Fighter as a bantamweight he immediately dropped down to flyweight and here he is in a title fight on Fox with his face plastered on a billboard in the middle of Times Square.
“All my friends were like send me pictures and they were telling me, you’re in Times Square and I said, no, I’m not,” said Dodson. “They asked me if I was watching the ball drop and I ain’t going to lie, I really wasn’t, I was playing video games. Most people are hating on me because I was at home. It was so great to see the billboard and to know I’m on there, it doesn’t matter that I’m only two feet tall because that made me feel like I was 100 feet tall and bigger than everybody. I felt like I was the champ and everyone was reaching up to me now, granted I still have to be Demetrious Johnson, but that’s how I feel for myself after seeing that.”
Training at Jackson’s MMA allows Dodson to prepare for this bout with some of the best fighters in the world as well as being under the tutelage of one of the greatest minds the sport has to offer. Dodson has also brought in some help from outside the camp as he looks to become the fourth winner of The Ultimate Fighter to wear UFC gold.
“Nick Urso is one of the best strikers I have to work with, he’s from Tampa, Florida and I bring him out here all the time,” said The Magician. “He’s been helping me with my striking and he makes sure that I keep on moving and he has me bouncing around. It doesn’t matter if we go into a counter game or if it turns out to be a full on brawl. He makes sure that I’m prepared for whatever situation I come across. Then I have my old high school helping me get back to my old wrestling roots.”
“I’d be the second guy (From TUF) to win the title in less than a year. Matt Serra is the only guy who has done it in a shorter time. He won the show and got a title shot and then got the title.”
The flyweight championship bout between Johnson and Joseph Benavidez was originally scheduled to occupy the main event slot of UFC 152, but was pushed down a slot to the co-main event spot when the UFC canceled UFC 151. This time around there will be no reshuffling of the card and Dodson and Johnson will be able to show the fans in Chicago and those watching all over the world on Fox how good the 125lb division truly is.
“If we can get more attention focused on the flyweights that would be awesome,” an excited Dodson stated. “Then we can transfer everything like how they did in boxing, they got rid of the spotlight on the heavyweights and brought it down to the lighter weight classes. Now the lighter weights are getting the attention and the glory. If me and Demetrious Johnson can do that it would be amazing because I’m going to go out there and fight the way I want to fight and he’s going to go out there and fight the way he wants to fight. That’s going to lead to fireworks right there.”