MANILA, Philippines – Although John Dodson expressed his interest to be part of the Ultimate Fighting Championship’s second Philippine live event on October 15, the world’s premier mixed martial arts (MMA) promotion did not accede to the Filipino-American fighter’s request.
Dodson, who visited the country for a 4-day promotional tour last June, is slated to headline UFC Fight Night 96 on October 1 against number 5-ranked bantamweight John Lineker in a 5-round contest, which takes place at the Moda Center in Portland, Oregon.
The marquee match-up was announced by the UFC through its official Twitter account on Sunday, August 14.
#UFCPortland main event! @johnlineker vs @JohnDodsonMMA!— UFC News (@UFCNews) August 13, 2016
Tix on sale August 26th! https://t.co/rfH4BSyuEM pic.twitter.com/xgSO8u0o5Z
Known by the moniker “The Magician,” Dodson (18-7) rose to prominence when he joined the 14th season of “The Ultimate Fighter” reality television series in 2011 as a bantamweight contestant.
Dodson defeated future bantamweight champion TJ Dillashaw via first-round stoppage in the show’s finale to get a 6-figure contract with the UFC.
After his stellar victory over Dillashaw, Dodson transferred to flyweight and scored wins against the division’s distinguished names such as Tim Elliott, Jussier 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, who easily carved out another convincing unanimous decision win over him in their rematch at UFC 191 in September 2015.
The 31-year-old native of New Mexico, Albuquerque decided to return to the 135-pound weight class division this year and claimed a 47-second knockout triumph over Manny Gamburyan this past April.
In the other corner, Lineker (28-7) is riding high on a 5-fight winning streak, including 3 impressive triumphs since moving from flyweight to bantamweight.
The 26-year-old Brazilian is coming off a first-round knockout of ex-bantamweight title challenger Michael McDonald in July.
With Dodson out of UFC Fight Night Manila as he is booked to face Lineker two weeks before the organization’s second trip to the Philippines, recent reports state that MMA legend BJ Penn will be in the card’s headliner versus former featherweight title contender Ricardo Lamas.
UFC Fight Night Manila 2 is set to happen at the 20,000-capacity SM Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City, and tickets will be available on August 17. – Rappler.com
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