An Exclusive interview with Fil-Am TUF season 14 Bantamweight winner John “The Magician” Dodson

John “The Magician” Dodson winning the TUF season 14 Bantamweight crown (photo by UFC)

John “The Magician” Dodson displayed some crisp and accurate striking to capture the TUF Season 14 gold at 135 pounds against Team Alpha Male’s TJ Dillawshaw by way of first-round TKO.

“The Magician” has been getting a lot of attention from TUF viewers with his athleticism and humor during the show. He was an underdog coming to the fight against Dillawshaw, who at the time has been making a name for himself in the local MMA circuit in California.

Many predicted a stoppage win for Dillawshaw to capture the TUF bantamweight crown, but the Jackson-Wink MMA standout did not let his underdog status affect his mindset or his performance versus Dillawshaw as he scored a tremendous TKO win against the then Team Alpha Male superstar.

Dodson used his footwork and head movements to confuse Dillawshaw of his offense. He stayed patient until Dillashaw finally pressed forward with a telegraphed right straight.

Dodson evaded Dillawshaw’s strike by waving his head to the right, setting up a left hand counter that made Dillawshaw wobble and finished him off with some heavy hammerfists to become the TUF 14 bantamweight king.

With an impressive victory over a skillful Dillawshaw,  the 27-year-old Dodson could be the real deal. He’s fast, compact, strong and extremely athletic. He may even be the most prepared fighter to come off the show in recent memory.

Heading into 2012, which will feature even more exposure for the 135 lb. division than ever before, “The Magician” could be poised for greatness.

MMAOrient: Before this interview starts, we at MMAOrient would like to congratulate you for winning the TUF season 14 Bantamweight crown. You are another pride of the Philippines. Give us your thoughts about having a very successful run in TUF 14?

John Dodson:

Thank you. I can’t describe the feeling that are running through my body. The only thing that I can say is that I finally made it.

MMAOrient: Can you tell us a bit about your Filipino roots?

John Dodson:

My mother is the one with all the Filipino blood.

MMAOrient: Your Mother raised you and your brother alone. Can you tell us a bit about your Mom?

John Dodson:

She raised us by herself. She would work 2-3 jobs just to get us by and sometimes she wouldn’t eat so that my brother and I could have a full belly. She’s a strong will woman that raised us to be even stronger than her.

MMAOrient: What’s your martial arts background?

John Dodson:

I don’t have one really.I started out wrestling, then grappling and I learned some stand up along the way.

MMAOrient: We heard that you really love athletics. But why did you choose MMA over other sports?

John Dodson:

I really didn’t choose MMA, MMA found me.

MMAOrient: How did you get into the sport of MMA?

John Dodson:

I was working at Chuck E. cheese and I was hosting one of my coaches son’s birthday party, Chris Luttrell, and he knew who I was from wrestling. The other members of the party knew that I didn’t take any scholarships for wrestling so Chris told me to try out MMA. And here I am now.

MMAOrient:  What’s your favorite strike/submission to use in any fight?

John Dodson:

Flying head kicks for strike and triangle choke for submission.

MMAOrient: Can you tell us a bit about the history of your nick name “The Magician”?

John Dodson:

For one of my amateur fights a guy was screaming, “this man is so sick, he’s like a magician.” I liked the way it sounded so I kept the name. Plus the added bonus is that no one has thst nickname.

MMAOrient: Who is your biggest inspiration?

John Dodson:

My mom is my biggest inspiration in life. So she reminds me to find that courage to be the best.

MMAOrient: You are training at Jackson’s MMA in Albaquerque New Mexico with some of the best fighters in the business. What is it like for you to be a part of a fight team that includes UFC LHW champion, Jon Jones, UFC Welterweight Champion, GSP, Donald Cerrone, UFC Middleweight contender Brian Stann and top welterweight Carlos Condit?

John Dodson:

It’s good to train with such great fighters everyday. They make sure that I’m always on my toes.

MMAOrient: Do you like to stand with your opponents or take them to the ground?

John Dodson:

I like to stand and bang.

MMAOrient: Could you tell us more about Jackson’s MMA Fighters program and how it has elevated your averall game?

John Dodson:

I’ve been here for 10 years so I’ve learned from the best and having to teach the system everyday helps me elevate my game.

MMAOrient: What does it mean for you to be a fighter?

John Dodson:

It means I get to have fun everyday and love the job I’m doing.

MMAOrient: What separates you from every other fighter in your division?

John Dodson:

My quickness and my ability to find the opening no matter where it is.

MMAOrient: If you could have one dream fight with anyone, who would it be?

John Dodson:

Bruce Lee. He was the fastest man in his time so I wanna see how fast I really am. Not matter the outcome it will be a fight to remember.

MMAOrient: How has life changed after being the champion of TUF season 14?

John Dodson:

People stop me more for photos but nothing really. I still teach everyday and train everyone on our team that needs help. I have so many people that depend on me so I can’t change because I’ll let them down if I do.

MMAOrient: What’s your ultimate goal in your fighting career?

John Dodson:

To hold 3 titles at once.

MMAOrient: If you weren’t a pro fighter, what do you think you’ll be doing for a living?

John Dodson:

Sitting behind a desk writing computer programs.

MMAOrient: We all know that most fighters have a busy schedule but for sure there are things you love outside the gym and cage. What does John Dodson do in his free time?

John Dodson:

I like to play video games, hang out with my friends and chill with my girlfriend.

MMAOrient: What are your favorite Filipino Cuisines?

John Dodson:


MMAOrient: When was the last time you visited the Philippines?

John Dodson:

I never been there but one day I’ll make it out there to visit.

MMAOrient: Any words for your fans especially to your Filipino supporters?

John Dodson:

Thanks for the support and love. I’ll keep on making y’all proud and bring home a title.

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