John Dodson (fighter)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
John Dodson
Born (1984-09-26) September 26, 1984 (age 39)
Albuquerque, New Mexico, United States
Other namesThe Magician
ResidenceAlbuquerque, New Mexico, United States
Height5 ft 3 in (1.60 m)[1]
Weight125 lb (57 kg; 8.9 st)
Reach66 in (168 cm)[2]
StyleGaidojutsu, Boxing
Fighting out ofAlbuquerque, New Mexico, United States
TeamJackson's MMA
RankBlack belt in Gaidojutsu
Years active2002–present
Mixed martial arts record
By knockout11
By submission2
By decision11
By decision14
Mixed martial arts record from Sherdog

John Dodson (born September 26, 1984) is an American mixed martial artist and bare-knuckle boxer who competes in the flyweight divisions of Rizin Fighting Federation and Bare Knuckle Fighting Championship, where in the latter promotion, he is the inaugural and current BKFC Flyweight Champion. A professional mixed martial arts competitor since 2004, Dodson has made a name for himself fighting mainly in the Southwest region. He was the winner of the Spike TV's The Ultimate Fighter: Team Bisping vs. Team Miller and competed in Ultimate Fighting Championship where he was a two-time title challenger, competing most recently in the bantamweight division, and is a veteran of the promotion with 9 years of competition.

Personal life[edit]

Dodson was born in Albuquerque, New Mexico. He grew up in Albuquerque and later moved to Edgewood, New Mexico, with his family. He attended Moriarty High School in Moriarty, New Mexico.[3] Dodson is half Black-American, half Filipino.[4] While attending Moriarty, Dodson competed in track, football and wrestling. In wrestling, Dodson was a two-time state champion, one time state runner-up and four time district champion.[5] Dodson graduated from high school in 2003, and then enrolled at the University of New Mexico while working at a local Chuck E. Cheese's restaurant.[3][5][6]

Dodson's mother raised him and his brother, Eric, as a single parent. His favorite Filipino food is Pancit.[7] Dodson has daughters named Delilah Skye and Aurora Rose with his wife Chelsea.[8][9]

Mixed martial arts career[edit]

Dodson began training MMA in 2002 after Chris Luttrell and Greg Jackson recruited him for his extensive wrestling background. After the first day of training, he "fell in love with the sport" and continued to train daily with Jackson.[5]

Dodson competed in a Grappler's Quest and won in the beginner level. Four months later, he competed in another submission tournament, winning at the intermediate level. Six months later, Dodson competed in his first amateur fight. He competed in one other amateur bout before turning pro.[5] Dodson was offered to make his debut in Japan against the number one ranked flyweight in the world, Yasuhiro Urushitani.[5] Dodson lost the fight via decision.[10]

With the lack of fights materializing at flyweight, Dodson began taking fights at featherweight and bantamweight as well. He obtained a 3–2 record before taking a fight against future WEC fighter, Clint Godfrey, winning the fight via decision. With the win over Godfrey, Dodson was selected to be a part of the second season of the Tapout Reality show.[11]

Despite having a 1–1 record under the Ultimate Warrior Challenge promotion, he was awarded shot at the vacant UWC flyweight title at UWC 7. Dodson was defeated by Pat Runez in a highly controversial five-round decision.[12] At UWC 8, Dodson defeated previously unbeaten Jesse Riggleman via unanimous decision.[13]

Dodson was expected to fight at Tachi Palace Fights 9 against Alexis Vila.[14] However, Vila suffered an injury and was forced to pull out of the bout. Vila was replaced by former Shooto champion Mamoru Yamaguchi.[15] Dodson then pulled out of the fight for unknown reasons, and was replaced by Kevin Dunsmoor.[16]

The Ultimate Fighter[edit]

In 2011, Dodson had signed with the UFC to compete on The Ultimate Fighter: Team Bisping vs. Team Miller. In the first episode, Dodson fought Brandon Merkt to gain entry into the Ultimate Fighter house. Dodson defeated Merkt in the first round via TKO.

Dodson was selected as a part of Team Mayhem, he was the first bantamweight chosen for the team (fourth overall). Dodson defeated John Albert via unanimous decision in the preliminary round and moved onto the semi-finals.

In the semi-finals Dodson was selected to fight Team Mayhem teammate, Johnny Bedford. After a close first round, Dodson won the fight via KO in the first minute of the second round. The win moved Dodson into the finals. The impressive finish also won Dodson an additional $25,000 for the fan voted "Knockout of the Season".[17]

Ultimate Fighting Championship[edit]

Dodson made his UFC debut on December 3, 2011, at The Ultimate Fighter 14 Finale against T.J. Dillashaw to determine the bantamweight winner of The Ultimate Fighter 14. Dodson won the fight via TKO in the first round to become the first Bantamweight winner of The Ultimate Fighter competition. He received an additional $40,000 for winning Knockout of the Night honors.[18]

For his next fight, Dodson moved back down to the flyweight division and was expected to face Darren Uyenoyama on May 5, 2012, at UFC on Fox 3.[19] However, Uyenoyama was forced out of the bout, and was replaced by promotional newcomer Tim Elliott.[20] Dodson defeated Elliott by unanimous decision, generating crowd booing.[21]

Dodson faced promotional newcomer Jussier Formiga on October 5, 2012, at UFC on FX 5.[22] He won the fight via TKO in the second round.[23]

First title shot[edit]

Dodson faced UFC Flyweight champion Demetrious Johnson on January 26, 2013, at UFC on Fox 6,[24] becoming the first Ultimate Fighter alumnus to fight for a title post-season 5. Despite knocking Johnson down twice in the second round, Dodson lost the fight via unanimous decision in a bout that earned both participants Fight of the Night honors.[25][26]

Dodson faced promotional newcomer Darrell Montague on October 19, 2013, at UFC 166.[27] He won via knockout at 4:13 of the first round.[28] The win also earned him his second Knockout of the Night award.[29]

Dodson was expected to face Scott Jorgensen on December 14, 2013, at UFC on Fox 9, replacing Ian McCall.[30] However, Dodson himself was forced from the bout after sustaining a knee injury.[31] Jorgensen instead faced promotional newcomer Zach Makovsky.[32]

A rematch with John Moraga took place on June 7, 2014, at UFC Fight Night 42.[33] Dodson won the fight via TKO due to a doctor stoppage between rounds two and three after a knee he threw late in the second round.[34]

Dodson faced Zach Makovsky on May 23, 2015, at UFC 187.[35] Dodson won the fight via unanimous decision.[36]

Second title shot[edit]

A rematch with the Flyweight champion Demetrious Johnson took place on September 5, 2015, at UFC 191.[37] In a completely one-sided affair, Dodson lost the fight via unanimous decision.[38]

Return to Bantamweight[edit]

Dodson faced Manvel Gamburyan in a bantamweight bout on April 16, 2016, at UFC on Fox 19,[39] He won the fight via TKO in the first round.[40]

Dodson faced John Lineker on October 1, 2016, at UFC Fight Night 96.[41] The bout took place at a catchweight of 136.5 lbs as Lineker missed weight. He lost the back and forth fight via split decision.[42]

Dodson faced Eddie Wineland on April 22, 2017, at UFC Fight Night 108.[43] He won the fight via unanimous decision.[44]

Dodson faced Marlon Moraes on November 11, 2017, at UFC Fight Night 120.[45] He lost the fight via split decision.[46]

Dodson was expected to face Pedro Munhoz at UFC Fight Night 125 on February 3, 2018.[47] However, Munhoz missed weight by four pounds over the bantamweight non-title fight upper limit of 136 pounds, negotiations fell through, and the fight was cancelled.[48] The fight was rescheduled to UFC 222 on March 3, 2018.[49] Dodson won the bout via split decision.[50]

Dodson's contract with UFC expired after the fight with Munhoz and after listening to offers from various companies, he re-signed a new four-fight with UFC.[51]

Dodson faced Jimmie Rivera on September 8, 2018, at UFC 228.[52] He lost the fight via unanimous decision.[53]

Dodson faced Petr Yan on February 23, 2019, at UFC Fight Night 145.[54] He lost the fight by unanimous decision.[55]

Dodson faced Nathaniel Wood on February 15, 2020, at UFC Fight Night 167.[56] He won the fight via TKO in the third round.[57]

On June 16, 2020, news surfaced that with one fight left on his prevailing contract, Dodson re-signed a five-fight deal with the UFC.[58]

Dodson faced Merab Dvalishvili on August 15, 2020, at UFC 252.[59] He lost the fight via unanimous decision.[60]

On September 18, 2020, it was announced that Dodson was released by UFC.[61]

Post UFC[edit]

Dodson was scheduled to fight his first bout after release on July 30, 2021, at XMMA 2 against Cody Gibson.[62] However, Dodson got into a potentially life-threatening car accident with his family and withdrew from the bout.[63] Gibson knocked out replacement Louis Sanoudakis in 44 seconds.[64] Dodson's bout with Gibson was rescheduled for XMMA 3 on October 23.[65] Dodson lost the fight by unanimous decision.[66]

Dodson faced Francisco Rivera on April 2, 2022, at XMMA 4.[67] He won the bout via unanimous decision.[68]

Dodson signed a multi-fight contract with Rizin Fighting Federation and debuted against Hideo Tokoro in a return to flyweight on December 31, 2022, at Rizin 40.[69] He won the bout by knockout in the first round via punches.[70]

Dodson faced Tatsuki Saomoto at Rizin 42 on May 6, 2023. He won the fight by unanimous decision.[71]

Dodson faced Hiromasa Ougikubo on December 31, 2023, at Rizin 45.[72] and lost the bout via unanimous decision.[73]

Bare-knuckle boxing career[edit]

Bare Knuckle Fighting Championship[edit]

In June 2022, it was announced that Dodson signed with Bare Knuckle Fighting Championship.[74]

Dodson faced Ryan Benoit on August 27, 2022, at BKFC 28: Ferea vs. Starling. Dodson won the fight via knockout in the first round.[75] This fight earned him the Performance of the Night award.[76]

Dodson fought Jarod Grant on February 17, 2023, at BKFC: KnuckleMania 3. He won the bout by first round knockout. [77]

Dodson fought for the inaugural BKFC Flyweight championship on August 11, 2023, at BKFC 48 and won by first round technical knockout.[78]

On March 29, 2024 in Albuquerque, New Mexico, Dodson was scheduled to make the first defense of his BKFC flyweight title against Dagoberto Aguero in the main event of BKFC 59.[79]

Championships and accomplishments[edit]

Mixed martial arts[edit]

Bare-knuckle boxing[edit]

Mixed martial arts record[edit]

Professional record breakdown
38 matches 24 wins 14 losses
By knockout 11 0
By submission 2 0
By decision 11 14
Res. Record Opponent Method Event Date Round Time Location Notes
Loss 24–14 Hiromasa Ougikubo Decision (unanimous) Rizin 45 December 31, 2023 3 5:00 Saitama, Japan
Win 24–13 Tatsuki Saomoto Decision (unanimous) Rizin 42 May 6, 2023 3 5:00 Tokyo, Japan
Win 23–13 Hideo Tokoro KO (punches) Rizin 40 December 31, 2022 1 1:43 Saitama, Japan Return to Flyweight.
Win 22–13 Francisco Rivera Decision (unanimous) XMMA 4: Black Magic April 2, 2022 3 5:00 New Orleans, Louisiana, United States
Loss 21–13 Cody Gibson Decision (unanimous) XMMA 3: Vice City October 23, 2021 3 5:00 Miami, Florida, United States
Loss 21–12 Merab Dvalishvili Decision (unanimous) UFC 252 August 15, 2020 3 5:00 Las Vegas, Nevada, United States
Win 21–11 Nathaniel Wood TKO (punches) UFC Fight Night: Anderson vs. Błachowicz 2 February 15, 2020 3 0:16 Rio Rancho, New Mexico, United States
Loss 20–11 Petr Yan Decision (unanimous) UFC Fight Night: Błachowicz vs. Santos February 23, 2019 3 5:00 Prague, Czech Republic
Loss 20–10 Jimmie Rivera Decision (unanimous) UFC 228 September 8, 2018 3 5:00 Dallas, Texas, United States
Win 20–9 Pedro Munhoz Decision (split) UFC 222 March 3, 2018 3 5:00 Las Vegas, Nevada, United States
Loss 19–9 Marlon Moraes Decision (split) UFC Fight Night: Poirier vs. Pettis November 11, 2017 3 5:00 Norfolk, Virginia, United States
Win 19–8 Eddie Wineland Decision (unanimous) UFC Fight Night: Swanson vs. Lobov April 22, 2017 3 5:00 Nashville, Tennessee, United States
Loss 18–8 John Lineker Decision (split) UFC Fight Night: Lineker vs. Dodson October 1, 2016 5 5:00 Portland, Oregon, United States Catchweight (136.5 lb) bout; Lineker missed weight.
Win 18–7 Manvel Gamburyan TKO (punches) UFC on Fox: Teixeira vs. Evans April 16, 2016 1 0:37 Tampa, Florida, United States Return to Bantamweight.
Loss 17–7 Demetrious Johnson Decision (unanimous) UFC 191 September 5, 2015 5 5:00 Las Vegas, Nevada, United States For the UFC Flyweight Championship.
Win 17–6 Zach Makovsky Decision (unanimous) UFC 187 May 23, 2015 3 5:00 Las Vegas, Nevada, United States
Win 16–6 John Moraga TKO (doctor stoppage) UFC Fight Night: Henderson vs. Khabilov June 7, 2014 2 5:00 Albuquerque, New Mexico, United States
Win 15–6 Darrell Montague KO (punch) UFC 166 October 19, 2013 1 4:13 Houston, Texas, United States Knockout of the Night.
Loss 14–6 Demetrious Johnson Decision (unanimous) UFC on Fox: Johnson vs. Dodson January 26, 2013 5 5:00 Chicago, Illinois, United States For the UFC Flyweight Championship. Fight of the Night.
Win 14–5 Jussier Formiga TKO (punches) UFC on FX: Browne vs. Bigfoot October 5, 2012 2 4:35 Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States UFC Flyweight title eliminator.
Win 13–5 Tim Elliott Decision (unanimous) UFC on Fox: Diaz vs. Miller May 5, 2012 3 5:00 East Rutherford, New Jersey, United States Return to Flyweight.
Win 12–5 T.J. Dillashaw TKO (punches) The Ultimate Fighter: Team Bisping vs. Team Miller Finale December 3, 2011 1 1:54 Las Vegas, Nevada, United States Won The Ultimate Fighter 14 Bantamweight tournament. Knockout of the Night.
Win 11–5 John Moraga Decision (unanimous) Nemesis Fighting: MMA Global Invasion December 11, 2010 3 5:00 Punta Cana, Dominican Republic
Win 10–5 Jessie Riggleman Decision (unanimous) Ultimate Warrior Challenge 8 May 22, 2010 3 5:00 Fairfax, Virginia, United States
Loss 9–5 Pat Runez Decision (split) Ultimate Warrior Challenge 7 October 3, 2009 5 5:00 Fairfax, Virginia, United States For the UWC Flyweight Championship.
Win 9–4 Jose Lujan TKO (punches) Duke City MMA Series 2 July 25, 2009 1 0:52 Albuquerque, New Mexico, United States
Win 8–4 Jose Villarisco Decision (unanimous) Ultimate Warrior Challenge 5 February 21, 2009 3 5:00 Fairfax, Virginia, United States Flyweight bout.
Loss 7–4 Mike Easton Decision (split) Ultimate Warrior Challenge 4 October 11, 2008 3 5:00 Fairfax, Virginia, United States
Win 7–3 Vern Baca TKO (punches) Battlequest 8 April 11, 2008 1 3:42 Denver, Colorado, United States
Win 6–3 Zac White Submission (rear-naked choke) Last Man Standing 2 December 15, 2007 1 3:42 Roswell, New Mexico, United States
Loss 5–3 Bill Boland Decision (unanimous) Ultimate Cage Wars 7 April 7, 2007 3 5:00 Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
Win 5–2 Jake Long TKO (slam and punches) Last Man Standing 1 March 17, 2007 1 N/A Roswell, New Mexico, United States
Win 4–2 Clint Godfrey Decision (unanimous) Ring of Fire 27 December 9, 2006 3 5:00 Castle Rock, Colorado, United States
Loss 3–2 Joe Doherty Decision (unanimous) Ring of Fire 25 July 29, 2006 3 5:00 Vail, Colorado, United States Won the Ring of Fire Bantamweight Championship.
Win 3–1 Jared Moreland TKO (punches) Rumble in the Rockies 2 February 18, 2006 1 2:55 Loveland, Colorado, United States
Win 2–1 Johnny Velasquez Decision (split) KOTC: Socorro July 23, 2005 2 5:00 Socorro, New Mexico, United States
Loss 1–1 Yasuhiro Urushitani Decision (unanimous) Demolition 041114 November 14, 2004 2 5:00 Tokyo, Japan Flyweight bout.
Win 1–0 Zac White Submission (rear-naked choke) Desert Extreme September 3, 2004 1 3:23 Socorro, New Mexico, United States

Mixed martial arts exhibition record[edit]

Res. Record Opponent Method Event Date Round Time Location Notes
Win 3–0 Johnny Bedford KO (punches) The Ultimate Fighter: Team Bisping vs. Team Miller November 30, 2011 (airdate) 2 1:00 Las Vegas, Nevada, United States The Ultimate Fighter 14 Semi-finals.
Win 2–0 John Albert Decision (unanimous) October 26, 2011 (airdate) 2 5:00 The Ultimate Fighter 14 Quarter-finals.
Win 1–0 Brandon Merkt TKO (punches) September 21, 2011 (airdate) 1 1:37 The Ultimate Fighter 14 Preliminary bout.


Bare knuckle boxing record[edit]

Professional record breakdown
3 matches 3 wins 0 losses
By knockout 3 0
Res. Record Opponent Method Event Date Round Time Location Notes
Win 3–0 JR Ridge TKO (punches) BKFC 48 August 11, 2023 1 1:49 Albuquerque, New Mexico, United States Won the inaugural BKFC Flyweight Championship.
Win 2–0 Jarod Grant KO (punches) BKFC KnuckleMania 3 February 17, 2023 1 1:41 Albuquerque, New Mexico, United States
Win 1–0 Ryan Benoit KO (punch) BKFC 28 August 27, 2022 1 0:40 Albuquerque, New Mexico, United States Performance of the Night.

See also[edit]


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  9. ^ John Dodson III [@JohnDodsonMMA] (May 30, 2019). "Baby Aurora Rose was born yesterday. Another one added to the Dodson Clan" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  10. ^ "Sherdog Fightfinder".
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External links[edit]