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MANILA, Philippines – Although he currently competes as a bantamweight, Filipino fighter John Dodson is not closing the doors on a return to the flyweight division.
The 31-year-old native of Albuquerque, New Mexico may have received a 6-figure contract with the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) by winning the 14th season of “The Ultimate Fighter” reality television series in 2011 as a 135-pound contestant, but he made a name for himself in mixed martial arts (MMA) as a flyweight.
Dodson started his prizefighting career as a top 125-pound prospect, finishing 6 of his first 16 professional outings by either knockout or submission.
In his December 2011 Octagon debut, Dodson defeated future bantamweight champion TJ Dillashaw via first-round stoppage to come out on top as “The Ultimate Fighter” bantamweight winner.
After his stellar victory over Dillashaw, Dodson transferred to flyweight and scored impressive wins against the weight class’ distinguished names such as Tim Elliott, Jussier “Formiga” da Silva, Darrell Montague, John Moraga and Zach Makovsky.
Dodson’s two losses as a flyweight came at the hands of division kingpin Demetrious Johnson.
According to Dodson, his move back to bantamweight is not permanent as he still desires to have the UFC flyweight title around his waist.
“It’s not a small opening. I will have a big opening [for a return to flyweight],” said Dodson, who is in the Philippines for a 4-day promotional tour.
Aside from a flyweight comeback, Dodson sets his sights on becoming the first 3-division world champion in MMA.
“I want to be a 3-weight king. I want to be that proud 3-weight king, fighting at 125, 135 and 145. If that doesn’t work out, I will make sure to hold 135, 145 and 155,” he stated.
Just being a two-division titleholder in MMA is already a difficult feat to achieve, with Randy Couture, BJ Penn, Dan Henderson, Urijah Faber and Bibiano Fernandes being the only fighters in the sport’s history to accomplish it.
Even though he failed to walk away with a gold-plated strap in his two title opportunities and has a long way to go to be a championship contender at bantamweight, Dodson believes that he is destined for greatness.
“I am going to be the best that the world has ever seen. Not only that, everybody will follow me,” Dodson adds. – Rappler.com