UFC 252: John Dodson Still Focused on Gold, Questions Figueiredo’s Ability to Make Flyweight

John Dodson is back in action this weekend, looking to put together back-to-back wins for the first time since 2015, in the run up to his second fight with then-flyweight champ Demetrious “Mighty Mouse” Johnson. At UFC 252, Dodson (21-11) will face Merab Dvalishvili, a surging bantamweight who might be a little under the radar.

“He’s a very dangerous opponent. He likes to go out and set records for the most consecutive takedowns in one fight,” Dodson told Cageside Press at the UFC 252 media day this week. “But the hardest thing that he’s going to have to do is be able to go ahead and keep me down on the ground, or even get me taken down.”

Look no further than his own track record, “The Magician” suggested. “I don’t get taken down that much, and when I do, I pop right back up, I’m like a little spring. I’m like a little jack-in-the-box that pops up every single time, and I’m going to surprise him with a few 1-2 combinations that might end the night pretty early for me.”

Dodson, winner of The Ultimate Fighter 14, has maintained a positive energy throughout his UFC career. As he put it, “it sucks to be sad.” Rather than dwell on the negatives, “being happy is the easiest way to look at it. If you look at all the positive things in life, than you can enjoy it every step of the way.” That applies to both his life and career, Dodson noted.

“I just want to live life, instead of sitting there being killed by so much negativity and hurtful words of everybody that wants to put you on the bottom,” he stated.

With that in mind, would he be happy if his career ended tomorrow, given the TUF win and a pair of fights against one of the greatest fighters of all time in Johnson?

“Absolutely not,” Dodson told Cageside Press. “Because I had sat there and told people that I was going to win titles in multiple divisions, and I haven’t secured one. So I need to go ahead and make the best move for myself and be able to get those titles. I want that title at 125, 135, and 145. And if I can’t do it right now, I’ll definitely keep on doing it until I eventually can. And I’m going to train even harder to make sure I can go ahead and do it.”

“I’ll make those adjustments to be the fighter that the world wants to see, and not only the world but the UFC,” he added.

And yes, he’s keeping an eye on his old home at flyweight. Which seems to be a land of opportunity with new champ Deiveson Figueiredo set to defend his title against Cody Garbrandt.

“There’s opportunity out there because they got a champion that’s very wishy-washy on his weight,” Dodson observed. Safe to say, he’s not a fan of Figueiredo having missed weight for a title fight back in February at UFC Norfolk. “I don’t know if he can’t make it, if he’s going to go into the bout against Cody Garbrandt at 125, or a catchweight at 132. We’ll see what happens.”

Watch the full UFC 252 media day press scrum with John Dodson above.