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John Dodson Focused on BKFC and RIZIN Future, Demands Higher Pay for UFC Return

LockerRoom Team
31 December 2023

As John Dodson gears up for his return to the ring on New Year’s Eve in Japan, the veteran flyweight remains steadfast in his commitment to BKFC and RIZIN, finding solace in his new fighting homes after an unexpected UFC departure.

Dodson's UFC journey, spanning nearly a decade and featuring two title fights, came to an abrupt end after a defeat to Merab Dvalisivhili in 2020. Despite his impressive resume, Dodson felt the UFC should've afforded him more consideration. Now thriving in BKFC and RIZIN, he's hesitant about a UFC return unless the promotion is willing to meet his financial expectations.

“They’d have to cut a check for me to come back,” Dodson asserted. “If they want me to come back, they’re going to have to come with a higher dollar amount. Not to disrespect anybody that’s in the UFC, I think I’m far better than the champion that’s at 125 [pounds] and 135 right now."

Reflecting on his UFC departure, Dodson expressed frustration over how his last 10 fights were evaluated, pointing out that he won four out of the ten. Despite his accomplishments, a loss to Dvalishvili led to his release, leaving Dodson disheartened. Since parting ways with the UFC, Dodson has amassed a 3-1 MMA record, including two victories in RIZIN and a perfect 3-0 streak in bare-knuckle competition, culminating in him becoming the BKFC flyweight champion.

Thankful to RIZIN and BKFC for offering him opportunities when he felt his future in the sport was uncertain, Dodson revealed that Bellator MMA, too, had shown interest post his UFC exit, though they deemed him unsuitable.

“Bellator told me I wasn’t good enough,” Dodson disclosed. “So I’m going to go dominate everywhere else. Everyone who keeps disrespecting me, they’re going to have to put a lot of money on the table to go ahead and say yes.”

Dodson, uncertain about future offers, remains committed to BKFC and RIZIN, acknowledging the support they provided during a challenging period. While he's open to forgiveness, Dodson emphasizes that he won't forget the experiences that led him to his current fighting homes.

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