John Dodson is a two-time UFC flyweight title challenger who hopes to one day make it three times lucky and win UFC gold. Now back at bantamweight, Dodson has his sights set on the winner of the upcoming title fight between champion Cody Garbrandt and TJ Dillashaw (a man he knocked out to win The Ultimate Fighter season 14). First, he must defeat Marlon Moraes on November 11 at UFC Fight Night 120.
Dodson, one of the biggest characters in the lower weight classes, answered the questions of Fighters Only contributor Tony Reid ahead of his 28th professional fight.
Question: If you could choose one fight from your career that every MMA fan should see which fight would you choose and why?
John Dodson: The one I filmed for the TapouT Show. It was a good memory for me. It was a great memory for me because I got to hang out with Mask, Punkass and Skrape. They were the ones that helped me along this road. To have Mask in the background during the fight and hearing him scream for me was one of the greatest moments. They really helped me out leading up to that fight by accepting me and then cheering me on through it. That was the most ready I have ever been going into a fight. I wasn’t nervous, I wasn’t scared, I was ready to go out there and throw down for those guys.
Q: If you could fight anyone in any weight class, who would you choose to fight and why?
JD: Alistair Overeem. I want to know if speed really does kill. I want to know if I’m the fastest man on the planet. If I can hit him first then he might go down. I know he’s only going to have to land one shot on me and it will kill me. If I land 50 million shots, will it hurt him?
Q: What is the most memorable story you can share with us from your time training at the world famous Jackson/Winkeljohn Gym?
JD: One day I walked into the gym, I was having a bad morning, I was down in the dumps, and I had already got beat up. The workouts weren’t going well for me that day. I walked around the gym and there were nothing but a bunch of flyers hanging everywhere. It was a picture of me sitting on top of Rashad’s (Evans) shoulders with me looking at him. It was photoshopped of course and it said “Rashad is training kids for the next generation of MMA and this is how he’s doing it.” It said “Jackson’s MMA outreach for troubled youth. Jackson’s MMA: Making a difference in the community. This is a great story of hope, triumph and courage as Rashad helps little John reach his dreams and a brighter future. Please contact Jackson’s MMA if you would like to join Rashad helping those in need like he did for little John. ” I still have a copy of it to this day. This is some funny s**t. No matter how down in the dumps I am I know my team will always come out and do something to help me get back on track.
Q: Your mom is a huge inspiration in your life. Can you talk about how important she is to you?
JD: My mom is the reason why I do what I do. She was such a hard worker and did everything in her power to take care of me and my brother. No matter what we wanted to do she busted her butt to make sure we could go out and do what we wanted to do. She just makes sure I remember what the true value of life really is. You have to go get it; no one is going to hand it to you.
Q: Do you ever wonder what you would be doing for a living if you weren’t a mixed martial artist?
JD: I would be pursuing my modeling career. I would be modeling underwear. The face is hideous but the body is awesome.
Q: Who are your favorite fighters?
JD: I am a huge, huge fan of Donald Cerrone. That guy throws it all out there. He’s balls to the wall. He doesn’t like his opponents and they don’t like him. Mark Hominick is another guy I admire. He technique and skill and his heart… no matter how hard he got hit he’s getting right back up and try to go right after it. One of the people I don’t like in MMA is Ben Askren. I’ve done that (wrestling) forever. I don’t want to watch it in MMA. It’s boring in MMA. People complain about Georges St. Pierre wrestling people. Man, then they have never seen this dude! He just holds people down. Granted, it’s MMA and if you don’t want to get taken down then learn how to defend the takedown, but God! Ben, surprise us. At least throw a punch or a kick once in a while.
Q: Do you have any strange superstitions?
JD: I have to make sure I have the right music and the right colored socks. I have to have Skittles, or M&M’s or Starburst ones (socks). I always have to have those with me just to remind me that I like having fun… that and having my pajamas. If I don’t have my pajamas, I don’t feel normal.
Q: Do you ever get tired? Do you ever stop moving?
Q: If you could fight anyone outside the world of MMA, who would you pick to fight and why?
JD: Floyd Mayweather. That pretty boy wouldn’t be so pretty when I got done with him. His nickname is money. He won’t have money when I get done with him; he will be broke, broke as a joke (laughs). He thinks he’s the best fighter in the world because he hasn’t been beat in boxing. Well, then come in and fight the best fighters in the world in MMA.
Image: Tom Bear