With his stoppage of Jussier da Silva in October, John Dodson earned a flyweight title shot against champion Demetrious Johnson and he’s already begun preparing for it, according to Greg Jackson.
The trainer recently joined the Sherdog Radio Network’s “Cheap Seats” show and discussed Dodson, Diego Brandao and more.
On Dodson’s focus on Johnson: “He’s already studying film and tape. We were talking about ideas today, and we don’t even have a date set yet. He’s just that excited. I think he really, really kind of took the next step of professionalism.”
On Dodson’s finish of da Silva and his progression: “I think that’s just the evolution of John. He needed more confidence and he has that. He needed more technique and he has that. I think that’s a growing process.”
On Diego Brandao’s win Saturday over Joey Gambino: “What we really worked on was pacing himself, relaxing, throwing short, hard combinations. Things that he didn’t do in his last fight that actually cost him that fight, that while he didn’t do them perfectly, he certainly took a big step up in what he needed to do.”
On Brandao’s improvement: “The thing about fighting is a lot of it’s experience-based. In others words, you have to have the experience of making it 15 minutes, of staying calm. … It’s so much about experience, about having done it before, learning to compete and learning how to do it right. That’s what we’re trying to do [with Brandao], is get him to learn to compete the right way, to fight the right way.”
On Magomed Saadulaev, who fights Dave Jansen on Friday at Bellator 77: “I’ll tell you several things about him. One is, he is amazing. He wrestles extremely well. His grappling is extremely good. His kickboxing is very deceptive. He’s one of these … fighters from the former Soviet Union. There’s so many of them. He comes from Dagestan himself, but there’s a lot of them coming from around that region that are just phenomenal athletes and very, very tough guys. I’m really privileged that I get to train him. This guy, he’s something special. He’s a great, great fighter and you should definitely tune in.”
On working with Saadulaev: “It’s kind of our first camp together. I’m just trying to augment what he already has, and kind of as I learn about him and as I see what his utility is and I see in each area where I can be the most effective in helping him out, a lot of what I first try to do is shore up his strengths. Making sure that he has very good pressure, that he understands ranges. Kind of making sure he has all of the basics very, very solid, in a way that I would like. Then from there, the next couple of fights we’ll probably be taking the next step into opening up his arsenal a little bit more. But he is very, very good in all positions of grappling and just phenomenal at wrestling, and like I said, great kickboxing. I’m just really excited to be in his corner. I’m excited to see what he can do. It’s one of those fights that’s really got me up. There’s kind of this bevy of Russian fighters coming in and they’re all really good, and I’m excited by it.”
Listen to the full interview (beginning at 1:03:39).