Former flyweight title challenger John Dodson opens up on his UFC release: “I was like, ‘What the hell? First fight in and I’m done?”

By Harry Kettle - July 14, 2022

John Dodson has opened up on how surprised he felt upon being released by the Ultimate Fighting Championship.

John Dodson

From the moment he knocked out TJ Dillashaw to win The Ultimate Fighter 14, it was clear to see that John Dodson had some real potential. Then, immediately after conquering the bantamweight tournament, he swiftly moved down to flyweight in search of gold.

He had two cracks at Demetrious Johnson and the belt but unfortunately came up on the losing end on both occasions. He proceeded to trade wins and losses with some notable names until finally, after losing via decision to Merab Dvalishvili at UFC 252, he was released by the promotion.

Now, a few years later, he’s explained why he was surprised to see it happen.


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“We just renewed,” Dodson told MMA Junkie. “I just renewed my contract and they were like, ‘Eh, you know what? You’re out.’ I was like, ‘What the hell? First fight in and I’m done? Wow. Thanks a lot, you guys.’

“I just figured I wasn’t the fit anymore. COVID happened. Of course, that’s a big factor in everything else that’s coming through. It’s hard for everyone to train and everything else that’s going on. But if you really think about it, they can get a bunch of younger fighters who want to fight in the UFC who are – probably 10-8 new fighters with the paycheck they were paying me.”

Quotes via MMA Junkie

Following on from a 1-1 run in XMMA, Dodson will be back in action with his new employers BKFC on August 27 when he battles Ryan Benoit. Ironically, the contest will go down in Rio Rancho, the same city where he secured his final UFC win against Nathaniel Wood.

What are your thoughts on the UFC career of John Dodson? Where will he go from here?


John Dodson UFC