This Saturday, October 19the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) will be live on pay-per-view and will be hosted inside the Toyota Center in Houston, Texas. The evening will be capped off with by the main-event attraction featuring the heavyweight trilogy of Champion Cain Velasquez and number one contender Junior Dos Santos. Daniel Cormier, Diego Sanchez and Hector Lombard are also featured on the main card of the event. With all that star power on one fight card, it may have been easy to forget about one weight class that has huge title implications on the line.
Albuquerque’s John “The Magician” Dodson (14-6) will have an opportunity to climb back up the Flyweight ladder en route to another crack at Champion Demetrious “Mighty Mouse” Johnson. Dodson would drop three of five rounds to Johnson in their title fight back in January despite putting the Champion on the mat with punches several times. Dodson’s redemption fight will come against Darrell Montague (13-2). The Tachi Palace Fight 125-pound Champion is on a four-fight tear since losing to eventual UFC title contender Ian McCall; Montague is a newcomer to the UFC and Dodson will certainly have a warm welcoming gift awaiting.
SWFight in its best effort to promote Dodson in his bout this weekend is catching up fight fans on some of the memorable moments of Dodson’s pre-UFC career. Compiling a record of 11-5 outside the UFC before his entry into the Ultimate Fighter house, hardcore fans knew Dodson to be highly entertaining and excitedly unorthodox, mixing up flying attacks with slick grappling. Those skills have translated to the UFC level and Dodson fans knew early on that he would find success as a flyweight or bantamweight.
Getting right to it, here are three of several high profile pre-UFC bouts of ‘The Magician”.
John Dodson vs. Yasuhiro Urushitani – GCM Demolition – Nov. 14th 2004
With just one fight in his pro career, Dodson signed up to fight Yasuhiro Urushitani in Tokyo, Japan. Urushitani was considered heading into the bout the number one ranked flyweight in the world and Dodson had one pro fight two months prior to Urushitani’s 13-fight career.
Despite the difference in experience level, Dodson would instantly earn respect around the MMA community as he not only held his own against the top ranked fighter; he arguably won the fight in an arguably controversial unanimous decision loss. With the loss, Dodson sat at 1-1 as a professional fighter but the skill set shown to give the top fighter trouble was but a sign of things to come.
John Dodson vs. Mike Easton – UWC 4 – October 11th 2008
With four years and eight more fights now under his belt, Dodson would leave the Southwest regional scene to UWC promotion based in Virginia. There he would meet up with current UFC bantamweight Mike Easton. The talent pool at Dodson’s natural weight class of 125-pounds was so scarce that Dodson was competing at 135-pounds and as heavy as the featherweight 145-pound weight limit.
Dodson would once again succumb to being at the bad end of a close decision in what was considered yet another controversial judges decision. Dodson would once again show big heart and tremendous skill against the larger Easton. The fight would give him even more respect as well as spotlight, two fights later he would be awarded a title shot for the UWC title.
John Dodson vs. John Moraga – Nemesis Fighting: MMA Global Invasion – December 11, 2010
In what would be Dodson’s last fight before he entered the Ultimate Fighter house; Dodson would fight the third fighter of his career who would go on to become a UFC competitor. Moraga was an undefeated, top prospect at 6-0 and highly touted as a Division I wrestler.
Dodson would show his impressive defensive wrestling acumen as he shut down any chance Moraga had in utilizing his strong grappling skill. Dodson would win every round en route to a unanimous decision and carry a tremendous amount of momentum towards his run to UFC glory.
Stay tuned to SWFight.com for more coverage on Dodson’s bout on Saturday night. Join us in sending our best wishes to Dodson and his team and make sure to check out UFC 166 which features the Heavyweight Title fight between Junior Dos Santos and Cain Velasquez. Follow me on Twitter @KingStark24 for more updates and check out the site’s Twitter @SWFight for more MMA news and fight results this weekend.