John Dodson (left) is ready for his close-up on Saturday. | Photo: Fred Haas
“The Ultimate Fighter” Season 14 bantamweight John Dodson (www.twitter.com/JohnDodsonMMA) will blog for Sherdog.com all season long, giving his thoughts, reactions and behind-the-scenes insights on the show. “The Ultimate Fighter 14” airs Wednesdays on Spike, 9 p.m. ET/PT. Going into the semifinals, I had Johnny Bedford just sitting there, watching me training.
He said I had no power, that it was a bad matchup for me, that he was gonna take me down and hold me there, and that he was the better fighter. I knew he felt like this even before we were gonna fight. Bedford was just a flyweight bully. He only wanted to fight the guys that he thought he could hold down with ease. How quickly I was gonna prove him wrong.
Bedford told everyone in the house that he was a “Jackson’s Killer.” He fought three of my teammates -- Ryan Webb, Frank Gomez and Carson Beebe -- and beat them. When I saw that he made it into the house, I wanted to get revenge for them. I have no respect for the man and I wanted to prove that when I fought him.
During the fight, I was trying to get his timing down so that I could let my hands go. Everyone kept saying that his size would be hard for me to handle, but let’s face it: Size difference is something that I’ve had to deal all my life, and it wasn’t gonna make a different in this fight. It was gonna help me out more than it would help him. In the second round, I finally got his timing and I caught him with an uppercut that he couldn’t see coming. When I saw him hit the ground, I made sure that he wasn’t gonna get back up. I got a few shots in before the ref could pull me off. I was filled with so much emotion after the fight ‘cause I had gotten vengeance for my teammates.
(Also, Bedford, stop thinking that you can just fight flyweights and think you’re better than us. You can keep on thinking that you’re the better fighter, that’s fine, but I was the better fighter that day and that’s all that matters.)
When the doctor came into the cage, Bedford didn’t know where he was. He thought he was back in Ohio. I thought he was from Texas, but I guess I hit him so hard that I knocked him back to his childhood. With a knockout like that, all I can do is hope that people will vote it “KO of the Season”-worthy.
The last night in the house, everyone just went wild. Mayhem came in, and there were still a couple fights before the rest of us could join in the party, but everyone else was having a blast. They were pulling stunts with Mayhem’s bike into the pool. It was a good way to end the season, with everyone having fun -- but Bedford, Diego Brandao, Bryan Caraway and I were still looking at the big picture. It was the last fight that we were gonna have in this house before the big stage.
Diego was out for blood in his fight against Caraway. He saw Caraway as the enemy who was trying to stop him from getting his dream. In this case, Diego’s dream was to be able to go home, help his mother out and give everyone in his family something they never thought they could have: the good life.
With every leg kick he threw, Diego broke down Caraway. It got so bad that when Diego would land a kick, Caraway would spin around in a circle. Diego found a home for his left hook and that was the beginning of the end. Caraway is a tough dude; he took a lot of punishment that most men would have tapped from. Diego had the most respect for Caraway because of his grappling ability and skills. Caraway is one of those fighters that, when people see him again, they’ll see the dangerous Caraway who fought his way into the house.
So, it’s no longer Team Mayhem or Team Bisping. Now, it’s Team Jackson/Winklejohn. In case y’all didn’t notice, Diego and I fought together to get into the house, and our quarter- and semifinal fights were on the same day. The job’s not finished yet, ‘cause we’re fighting on the same night again this Saturday, Dec. 3. We’ll be the scrappers of the bunch, while our opponents will feel like they’ve been fed to the lions. It’s ‘bout to go down.
There are still people out there who hate me, and that’s fine with me ‘cause I did what was needed for Diego and I to make it to the finale. All I can say is keep on hating me ‘cause all you’re doing is making me famous. For everyone that has had my back from the start, thank you all and I will not let y’all down. I got one more fight before I can start thinking about my name being written in the stars and not washed away in the sands.
Remember everyone to vote my fight with John Albert as “Fight of the Season” and the KO from last night against Johnny Bedford as “Knockout of the Season.” Go to UltimateFighter.com and get your vote on. See y’all on Dec. 3.