John Dodson calls for a Rizin FF bout with Kyoji Horiguchi: “I want to be the champion, and he has to be my stepping stone”

John Dodson, Kyoji Horiguchi

John Dodson has his eyes set on hia next opponent following his impressive win at Rizin 40.

Dodson, once a title contender in the UFC, wants to meet Kyoji Horiguchi of Japan for his next fight. Since Dodson and Horiguchi have both settled under the Rizin banner, the two crossing paths seems imminent.

38-year-old John Dodson left MMA fans in awe as he knocked out opponent Hideo Tokoro in just less than two minutes into their flyweight fight.  It was a scintillating knockout finish for the veteran Dodson, and following the fight, his eyes are dead set on Horiguchi next.

John Dodson on Waiting to Fight Horiguchi

Kyoji Horiguchi, a former Bellator and Rizin FF champion, has been rumored to be matched up with Dodson in the past, and Dodson believes now is the time to make it happen:

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“I’ve been trying to fight Horiguchi for the last two years,” Dodson told reporters at the post-fight press conference.

 “When I got released from the UFC, they gave me Horiguchi as a future opponent coming into Rizin, but then the borders were shut down (due to the pandemic), and they wouldn’t let me come over here…” – (H/T MMA Junkie)

“Then he got signed to Bellator, so it’s been like a back-and-forth thing. I’ve been waiting for my opportunity to really test my abilities against the former champion of Rizin. I want to be the champion, and he has to be my stepping stone to become it.”

Kyoji Horiguchi is one of the most accomplished Japanese MMA fighters of all time. Going into a potential fight, Dodson recognizes that he probably won’t be the fan favorite. This fact doesn’t affect him at all, and Dodson embraces being the “villain”:

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“I don’t care, I can be the villain of any story. But at the same time, I’m going to come out the hero.”

John Dodson’s recent knockout of Tokoro was his 2nd MMA victory of the year in just as many bouts. The 38-year-old veteran is 2-1 in MMA since leaving the UFC, and he looks for this potential fight with Horiguchi to continue his momentum. Will John Dodson get his desired matchup with the Japanese MMA legend Horiguchi? Fans will have to eagerly wait for fight news.