With the Ultimate Fighting Championship's (UFC) growth and expansion worldwide, not only has the promotion's popularity and mainstream recognition increased, it has also seen an upkick in it's ever expanding roster.
The promotion has yet to put on a flyweight fight, but already have a few lined up, which will see the coronation of the first ever UFC 125-pound champion. Joseph Benavidez will take on Yasuhiro Urushitani and Demetrious Johnson will go toe-to-toe against Ian McCall in the first round of the four-man tournament, which is set to go down on UFC on FX 2: "Alves vs. Kampmann" on Mar. 2, 2012, in Australia.
The winner of each respective bout will face off in the final at a later event.
Though those four competitors got the call to vie for the title, there will be plenty more bantamweights who will make the drop down to 125-pounds down the road. One of them is The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) 14 winner, John Dodson.
Dodson, who has competed at flyweight before, stormed his way through the TUF house and defeated highly touted T.J. Dillashaw at The Ultimate Fighter 14 Finale on Dec. 3, 2011 to become the first ever bantamweight TUF guy with a "Knockout of the Night" performance.
Now, "The Magician" will make 10 pounds disappear, as he will drop down yet again to the 125-pound division as he takes on Darren Uyenoyama at UFC on Fox 3 on May 5 in New Jersey.
MMAmania.com caught up with John Dodson and the Jackson-Winkeljohn trained fighter talked about his upcoming bout on FOX, how his life has changed since winning TUF and the rather ambitious goals he has mapped out for himself in the UFC.
"Since I've won The Ultimate Fighter, it's been good because now I know I will have a guaranteed fight coming up. In the UFC, even if my opponent gets hurt, because of the depth, I know I'll have something around the corner. I drew Darren Uyenoyama for UFC on Fox 3. I'm excited because he is a good ground guy, so I am looking to keep the fight on the feet as much as possible. I would have liked to become the first UFC 125 champ, but I'm not in that flyweight tournament, but its OK, I figured Dana just wants someone else to keep that belt warm up until I can get it. I also want to move back up eventually, because I want to hold the 125, 135 and 145 title all at the same time. I want to be the first fighter ever to be a three weight king. I gotta go big and shoot for the stars!"
Shooting for the stars indeed.
Dodson's opponent, Darren Uyenoyama, will also be making the 10 pound cut down from featherweight after making a successful UFC debut against Norifumi Yamamoto on UFC on FOX 1: Velasquez vs. Dos Santos, back on Nov. 12, 2011.
The always energetic and charismatic Dodson will look to build on his success on the Ultimate Fighter and extend his win streak to four, paving the way for his goals of obtaining UFC gold.
Anyone see anything on the contrary that will prevent "The Magician" from finding success in the UFC's flyweight division? Or is it to soon to tell?
And How does he fair against the top 125, 135 and 145-pound fighters in the world?
Sound off, Maniacs.