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Munhoz (15-2 MMA, 5-2 UFC) missed weight for the planned bantamweight bout with Dodson (19-9 MMA, 8-4 UFC) in Brazil. “The Magician” was unwilling to fight his overweight opponent. The UFC paid him a fraction of his fight purse, and the matchup was rescheduled for UFC 222, which takes place at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas and airs on pay-per-view following prelims on FS1 and UFC Fight Pass.
Dodson explained there was a bevy of issues that led to him not accepting the fight. He said fans gave him flack for not fighting, but in his mind nothing made sense in the specific scenario.
Weeks later, Dodson stands firm behind his decision.
“The way I see it as, no matter how we put it, I’m always going to be there being professional,” Dodson told MMAjunkie on Wednesday. “Making that decision not to fight is the most professional thing I could have done. We’re professional athletes, we sign our contracts, and if the contract’s not met, we should be able to go in and renegotiate on a new one. If they’re not going to do it, I’ll do it another day. I’ll give him another opportunity.
“I’m not going to jeopardize my career so that I can go ahead and do something else and do something stupid. Savages do what savages do, and the most savage thing you can do is be an intelligent human being.”
Despite the fact Munhoz’s inability to hit his contracted weight was why the fight scratch, Dodson said he had no reluctance taking another fight with him just a month later. “The Ultimate Fighter 14” winner believes it’s the most appropriate matchup for him at the current stage of his career.
“This is one of the dudes that I’m going to have to knock off the list anyway,” Dodson said. “If I consider myself to be the best fighter in the world, I have to fight everyone. I don’t care what rank they are, who they are, what name they have, all the hype behind them. I have to silence the crowd and prove my worth. That’s the only way I can become a champion. Everyone says, ‘Oh, you were the No. 1 contender at flyweight all the time.’ I should have been the No. 1 contender at bantamweight. I’ve just been on the wrong end of a couple decisions, and everyone keeps thinking those decisions are deciding factors.”
On paper, Dodson has dropped two of his past three fights. However, both those losses came by split decision against contenders Marlon Moraes and John Lineker. For that reason, Dodson said he’s a lot closer to title contention than most would think. His major goal is a rematch with 135-pound champion T.J. Dillashaw, who he knocked out in his UFC debut in December 2011.
“If you go back and watch (my losses), I put on an exciting performance,” Dodson said. “I out-land them, I out-strike everybody, and I do it with a smile on my face and with a charismatic attitude, and I’m just phenomenal. So wait until I get my hands around T.J.’s neck, or just his chin, because that’s all I need.”
Dodson said he’s going into UFC 222 with a memorable – and unique – finish in mind. He knows Munhoz is coming to the octagon with the hope of being the first to finish him in MMA, but Dodson said he’s going to turn the tables in a laughable manner – literally.
“I’m going to go out there and tickle this man into submission,” Dodson said. “I know he’s jumping for a guillotine. He wants to cuddle me, and I know he wants to do something that hasn’t been done, and he wants to finish me. That’s his goal. My goal is to go ahead and do something that hasn’t been done either – get a tickle submission. Ultimately that man is going to get retired. If you get tapped out by tickles, how embarrassing? You can’t even live with that. How are you going to be the guy that gets tickled into submission?”
To hear more from Dodson, watch the video above.
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