Fighter John Dodson may have done enough to land another UFC title shot after producing a strong effort in front of his hometown fans at Fight Night 42. The Albuquerque, N.M. native showcased his quick-strike ability in stopping fellow former title challenger John Moraga in their pivotal flyweight matchup.
The contest was halted prior to the start of the third and final round. “The Magician” ended the bout in sudden fashion with a brutal knee to the face that broke Moraga’s nose in the dying seconds of the second round. The ringside doctor ruled that Moraga was unable to continue.
With the effort, which was Dodson’s second career win against the rugged Moraga, there’s a very strong likelihood that he could be next in line for the winner of the upcoming 125-pound title fight at UFC 174 in Vancouver between Demetrious Johnson and Ali Bagautinov.
Dodson improved to 16-6 with the win and notched his eighth career knockout. He’s compiled a 5-1 Octagon record with that lone loss coming in a title matchup against “Mighty Mouse” at UFC on FOX 6. The champion retained his title with a unanimous decision victory in an entertaining clash that produced the Fight of the Night. Dodson has been on a mission to secure another shot at the belt and has clearly emerged as the No. 1 contender.
Moraga is likely to fall from his No. 5 ranking as he simply wasn’t able to get untracked against Dodson. He did land a couple of right hands in the second round of the fight, but the power and speed differences were very noticeable. He falls to 14-3 with those losses coming at the hands of Dodson and to Johnson. He’ll need to string together multiple victories before getting back into the title conversation.
The talented Dodson is confident his combination of speed, power and athleticism will take him to the top. It’s clear the Season 14 winner of The Ultimate Fighter stacks up as a formidable future challenge for either Johnson or Bagautinov.
Rick LaFitte is an MMA Writer for Rant Sports.