While UFC flyweight John Dodson is preparing for the biggest fight of his life this Saturday night (Jan. 26, 2013) when he challenged champion Demetrious Johnson for the UFC Flyweight Title at UFC on Fox 6 in Chicago, Illinois, he'll be fighting for "the little guy" in more ways than one.
The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) season 14 winner has partnered with BullyVille.com, an anti-bullying social media platform which spreads a message about bullying from a host of celebrities who've been on the receiving end before they hit it big and tries to help victims recover, heal and learn to deal with their situations whether they were past or present.
MMAmania.com asked whether Dodson, who fights at the 125 pound weight class in the UFC, had a more personal reason for teaming up with BullyVille, and he shared one of his experiences growing up and dealing with being bullied while in high school:
"My story starts out like so many others, new kid, at a new school, being that freshman who's trying to get everyone to notice him. My problem was that I was getting noticed but not in the way that I wanted. The seniors didn't like me too much. They saw me as this arrogant kid who walked into their school ready to take it over. Couldn't have been further from the truth; it just so happened that I was very outgoing person. I was always willing to talk to everyone and meet new people. It was the easiest way to make new friends.
During my freshmen year of high school, I was pushed around every day by the seniors who were on the football team. I used to get into fights with them all the time. They once took a rope and hog tied me and then shot me with paintballs, repeatedly. I remember coming home one day with rope burns around my neck and the only one who bothered to asked what was wrong with me was my younger brother. He wanted to know 'if we had to go beat some fools up' in his caring tone of voice. I told him that we didn't have to do anything. They will come around. This is one day they'll never forget when they picked on me. They will also remember the great things that I'm about to accomplish later this school year.
Each day I continued to be the same person, always cautious and focused, no matter what they tried to do they couldn't break me down. Sure enough, when wrestling season came around, they saw the real me. But they also noticed that I never changed who I was as a person, I stayed the same. Those same guys realized they had to make some changes in their lives and you know what, they did. And we all love each other like brothers now. I could have chosen to hate them but there is one rule that I'll always live by - stay true to who you are and never let them get under your skin."
Dodson rolled with the punches (literally) and came out smelling like a rose, winning TUF 14 by defeating the likes of John Albert, Johnny Bedford and T.J. Dillashaw to earn the six figure contract. The Greg Jackson-trained fighter defeated Tim Elliott and then knocked out Jussier da Silva to earn his shot at the belt this weekend.
What do you think of Dodson's story, Maniacs?
Do you believe he's got a good shot of defeating Johnson this weekend? Or will he finally receive his first defeat under the Zuffa banner?