After defeating John Moraga with a second round doctor stoppage at June’s UFC Fight Night 42 from Albuquerque, New Mexico, No. 1-ranked UFC flyweight John Dodson began a full-on campaign for a rematch with dominant divisional champion Demetrious “Mighty Mouse” Johnson.
However, it looks like “The Magician” is going to have to wait quite some time for his coveted rematch. Dodson told FOX Sports today that he would be out of the cage for at least a year after undergoing reconstructive surgery for a torn ACL and Meniscus yesterday.
The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) 14 winner said his troubles began before his previously scheduled UFC on FOX 9 bout with Scott Jorgensen, which he was forced to withdraw from:
"I ended up tearing my ACL and my MCL before the Scott Jorgensen fight and then when I was getting ready for this fight against John Moraga, I didn't know it was going to be too much of a problem but then when I threw that first kick, I felt my knee pop when I threw that first kick in that first round and that's when I felt it go out. I didn't think too much of it because my knee didn't swell up or anything. I thought it was just another little sprain on it.”
Dodson fought and won against Moraga with a severely injured knee, and indeed his usually blazing speed may have been taken down a notch in hindsight. But after the win, Dodson said he truly began feeling the effects of the tear when he tried to work out the next week:
"It popped again that Monday after the fight when I went to go run. I was running, running and then I heard I pop again and I was like maybe I need to tell somebody and my manager forced me to go to the doctors and get it checked it out and get the final opinion on it. It turns out I blew the whole thing.”
Dodson continued on about the timetable for his return, noting that he’s a long road off from even training at full speed:
"I'm looking at six to eight months of me actually being out before I can start going back in the gym and going hard and stuff. About a year (before a fight)."
It’s an extremely unfortunate set of circumstances for the top contender, because it could be argued that outside of Dodson, no one in the UFC flyweight division can give “Mighty Mouse” a run for his money. Their first fight was an exciting battle, and UFC President Dana White recently dubbed a second fight a “premier match-up."
With wins in seven of his last eight bouts, Dodson knows this, and left Johnson with some more trash talk as he looks forward to his return to the Octagon next year:
"I was messing with Demetrious Johnson and I really, really, really want to beat this dude up. I want that title. I was gearing for it and getting ready for this fight. He can go ahead and take his little time off and be okay being a loser. He didn't want to fight me now he doesn't have to fight me."