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MANILA, Philippines – Homegrown talent Jenel Lausa felt one step closer to his dream of becoming an Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) fighter when he met Filipino-American stalwart John Dodson.
Lausa, the reigning Pacific Xtreme Combat (PXC) flyweight champion, had the opportunity to briefly grapple with Dodson at a public workout at Robinsons Place in Manila on Saturday, June 25.
“It was a great experience. I felt like I was in the UFC,” Lausa cheerfully told Rappler after his friendly grappling scrimmage with Dodson.
The 27-year-old native of Concepcion, Iloilo shared that Dodson’s skills as a prizefighter are on a different level.
“He is strong. I could cope up with him in some way, but he managed to be a step ahead. It motivates me to improve my game and refine my skills,” Lausa said.
Dodson rose to prominence when he joined the 14th season of “The Ultimate Fighter” reality television series in 2011 as a bantamweight contestant and defeated TJ Dillashaw via first-round stoppage in the show’s finale to get a 6-figure contract with the UFC.
In addition, Dodson is a two-time UFC flyweight title contender and is currently ranked No. 9 in the organization’s bantamweight rankings.
Lausa looks at Dodson’s success inside the Octagon as an inspiration and wishes to replicate or surpass it in the future.
“He accomplished many things in just a few years. It’s inspiring. It keeps me motivated to train hard at the gym. Maybe someday I can do the same thing or exceed his achievement,” he stated.
Lausa captured the vacant PXC flyweight championship with a split decision victory over compatriot Crisanto Pitpitunge this past January and became the fourth homegrown Filipino combatant to win a world title in the sport of mixed martial arts (MMA)
Lausa revealed that being part of the UFC roster is one of his ultimate goals as an MMA competitor and would like to have a chance to compete on the UFC Fight Night Manila 2 card.
The world’s premier MMA promotion will return to the fight capital of Southeast Asia to stage its second Philippine live event on October 15 at the 20,000-seater SM Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City.
“It’s my dream to become a UFC fighter because it’s the ultimate destination for every MMA fighter,” Lausa stressed. “I hope that the UFC can notice me and give me a call for the second Manila card. I promise to be 100 percent ready.” – Rappler.com