John Dodson (right): Fred Haas | Sherdog.com
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. -- The names of the moves are almost as creative as their execution.
There is “The Wink,” which John Dodson uses liberally as a tribute to Mike Winkeljohn, his stand-up coach at Jackson’s Mixed Martial Arts. The flying head kick does more than pay homage to Winkeljohn’s kickboxing days. It is also effective -- witness the time Dodson used it to set up a 52-second technical knockout of Jose Lujan at an Albuquerque fight card in 2009.
“I like using it every chance I can,” he said. “It puts on an exciting show. Every time I land it, it makes me feel good about myself because it’s a move [with which] I want to help Mr. Winkeljohn’s legacy.”
Then there is the “Hat Trick,” a work in progress because Dodson has not yet pulled it off inside the cage.
“I can give you some of the details on it,” he said. “It’s a backflip kick. I’ve never seen anybody do it, and that’s why I’m trying to perfect it.”
It should come as little surprise that a flyweight dubbed “The Magician” would include such creativity in his repertoire. Dodson, who has fought primarily under the Ultimate Warrior Challenge banner in recent months, is eagerly awaiting the opportunity to showcase his talents on a larger stage. The recent merger between the WEC and the UFC will give some of his lower weight class brethren at 135 and 145 pounds that chance.
Since UFC President Dana White has also expressed interest in adding a 125-pound division in the future, Dodson’s day could come soon. The WEC also had plans to implement the weight class at the beginning of 2010, but that never came to fruition.
“Every fighter knows that 125 [has] more of the exciting fights,” Dodson said. “[It will be] a great thing for MMA because we’ll see great talent with speed and agility and also actual technical fighting instead of having guys go in like heavyweights and get tired real easy after maybe the first two minutes of throwing heavy shots.”
For now, Dodson remains active outside of the limelight. On Dec. 10, he faces John Moraga as part of the Nemesis Fighting “MMA Global Invasion” event at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino Punta Cana in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic.
Moraga is 6-0, but his opponents have combined for a 5-7 record. Dodson, meanwhile, has faced some of the best talent in the flyweight pool. He lost a split decision to Yasuhiro Urushitani in his second career bout, and his battle with Pat Runez at UWC 7 was touted as one of the most significant flyweight fights ever in the United States.
“I thought I was winning the [Runez] fight,” Dodson said. “I controlled the pace and made sure I was attacking certain angles with strikes. One judge saw me winning the whole fight, and the other two judges saw me on the losing end. I shouldn’t have left it in the judges’ hands. That’s my own fault.”
In his most recent fight, Dodson dispatched the previously unbeaten Jesse Riggleman at UWC 8 in May. The wealth of experience should give him a decided advantage against Moraga.
“The thing with him is that John Moraga hasn’t fought any real tough opponents, and I’ll be the toughest one to date,” Dodson said. “I want to test out his speed, test out his chin and see how good his grappling defense is because some of the guys that he’s fought in the past have threatened him with submissions and some actual knockout power. We’ll see what it’s gonna be like when he fights somebody that knows what he’s doing and has more ring experience.”
Dodson will continue to play the waiting game while the UFC debates the merits of adding a 125-pound division. He believes the depth exists to fill out a roster at that weight class.
“We have a lot of talent fighting at 125,” Dodson said. “They just need to gather us up and let us fight.”
This item was updated at 4:30 p.m. ET to correct a fact error. Dodson defeated Lujan at an Albuquerque fight card in 2009, not Charlie Valencia.