Ex-UFC Flyweight John Dodson Signs With BKFC, Debuts in August

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The gloves are coming off for former Ultimate Fighting Championship title challenger John Dodson.

Bare Knuckle FC posted on social media on Friday that the bare-knuckle boxing league had signed ex-UFC mainstay Dodson to a contract. Dodson moved on from the UFC in 2020, competing twice more in MMA in 2021 and 2022. This contract, which is not necessarily exclusive, will put Dodson in the “squared circle” for BKFC later this year with an undetermined opponent. His debut has been announced for the Aug. 27 event in his hometown of Albuquerque, N.M. Of note, BKFC also recently signed former Dodson foe Jimmie Rivera.

“The Magician” left the confines of the UFC after going 1-3 in his last four from 2018 to 2020, and he departed for the XMMA organization. A bantamweight pairing with former UFC fighter Cody Gibson did not go his way, but it followed a horrific car accident with him and his family. Dodson returned to the win column in April, taking a hard-fought decision over fellow UFC ex-pat Francisco Rivera. The 37-year-old Dodson has never competed as a boxer, kickboxer or bare-knuckle fighter in his documented career, but he does celebrate 10 knockout wins on his 22-victory ledger.

Since the legalization of bare-knuckle fighting in the U.S., the largest BK league of BKFC has drawn attention and a large number of noteworthy fighters in MMA and boxing. A litany of past UFC fighters has competed in its ranks, including eventual BKFC champ Joey Beltran, Paige VanZant, Jason Knight, Hector Lombard, Ricco Rodriguez, Kendall Grove, Chris Lytle, Chris Leben, Joe Riggs, Leonard Garcia and many more. In 2022 alone, BKFC has staged events in six different states as well as Thailand, and the league has plans to head to London for the first time in July.
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