TORONTO – John (The Magician) Dodson thinks big.
The five-foot-three 125-pounder looks to take the UFC flyweight title from Demetrious (Mighty Mouse) Johnson on Jan. 26. Then, after a few title defences, he plans to go after the bantamweight (135 pounds) and featherweight (145 pounds) championships.
“This is the first step to what I truly want,” Dodson said of his televised showdown with Johnson at the United Centre in Chicago.
“I want to hold all those three titles at 125, ’35 and ’45. If I can do that, that would be amazing. Then I can die a happy man.”
The 28-year-old mixed martial arts fighter from New Mexico believes the three divisions are close enough in weight for him to do it.
“I want to be the first guy to do it,” he said. “A lot of people sit there and talk about it but I want to be able to do it. I want to go out there and put that mark on that wall … I can dominate the sport. I believe I can do this.”
Dodson has fought as high as lightweight (155 pounds) and says he normally walks around at 156 pounds.
If he doesn’t work out, he can go up to 160 or 165 pounds. “I truly am a little fat kid,” he joked.
Winning one title, let alone three, is a remarkable achievement. But Dodson say setting goals high is simply his way.
“What’s the point of setting them low,” he asked. “I don’t want to set them low so I can meet them every time. I want to set them high so where I have to strive and work hard for them.
“I’m not going to be that man who’s going to have their name washed away in the sand,” he added. “I want to have my name written in the stars.”
Randy (The Natural) Couture and B.J. Penn have both held UFC titles in different divisions. Couture, now retired, did it at heavyweight and light-heavyweight while Penn accomplished it at lightweight and welterweight.
Dominick Cruz (19-1) holds the bantamweight title although he is currently sidelined by a long-term knee injury. Renan Barao is the interim 135-pound champion. Jose Aldo is the featherweight title-holder.
Dodson (15-5) won Season 14 of “The Ultimate Fighter” reality show as a bantamweight. Then he turned his attentions to the newly introduced UFC flyweight division.
Dodson has gone 2-0 at 125 pounds in the UFC, defeating Jussier Formiga by second-round knockout last time out to earn his shot at Johnson (16-2-1).
Dodson says he has no schedule yet for his title road map, other than he wants to win the flyweight crown first and defend it a few times before looking elsewhere.