John Dodson's TUF 14 Sherblog
Just found this & I'm pretty stoked, because Dodson's my pick for the BWs. I saw him fight here in VA the first time I ever met Matt. It was a UWC (Ultimate Warrior Combat) event & the main event was a title fight between Dodson & Mike Easton, a local Washington, D.C. guy. The fight was amazing & Dodson handed Easton his only pro loss that night. Easton just won his UFC debut at UFC Live 6 & Dodson is fighting his way into the UFC at the same time, which I think is pretty cool. Anyhow, here's his TUF 14.01 blog:
First of all, walking into Mandalay Bay was a trip for me, because it was cool to see and really realize that this might be where I'll be fighting one day for the UFC.
As we kept on walking in, when I saw Dana White and the cage sitting there, I had a huge Chuck E. Cheese smile on my face. As I walked up to them, I got so excited -- too excited.
Good thing they didn't show this in the episode, but I tried to be all cool, not using the stairs and jumping into the cage. Well, it didn't go as planned: I biffed and unceremoniously slid my way in. The only thing going through my mind was, "Well, this is a good start. Can't ever be any more embarrassing that."
Dana White told us that we were going be fighting there at Mandalay Bay, and if we made it into the house, we would have a chance to get bonuses, including $25,000 bonuses that the fans get to vote on for the best fight, knockout, and submission of the season.
I know I want to walk away with at least two of those bonuses if I can. "Fight of the Season" I know I can get, because every fight that I'm is an exciting fight. I feel like I just gotta work on trying to get one of the other bonuses. However, it might be a little harder because of the talent pool for this season being so deep.
Watching all the fights to get into the house made that seem like a difficult goal. All the fighters looked really tough, so it's stupid on my part to think that they'll just hand me a knockout or submission that I want.
Meeting the coaches... they weren't what I thought they were. In this case, I thought they were a little bit smaller on TV then they were in real life. Granted, everyone is taller than me, but what's new?
That said, knowing that these two were the coaches, with their personalities, I knew no matter what happened, that this is season was going to be amazing. Then, of course, throwing me into the mix of things, it will be chaos.
Fight time came around and I felt like I was home. Getting my hands wrapped and see them write "UF" (Ultimate Fighter) on my hand wraps, I knew that I was where I need to be. It was kinda weird not having any fans to fight for, though. All of a sudden, I'm on one of the biggest stages to be on and only Dana White, the coaches and few other people were there. It was way too quiet for what I'm used to. I remember waiting for someone to start booing or yell out, "Bite his ear off." It's the only thing that I ever hear from the crowd when I'm fighting.
The guy I fought to get into the house was Brandon Merkt. He's one of the top flyweights here in the United States, with an impressive record, 11-0, so I knew who he was, and was ready for a scrap.
To make a long story short, I was just the better man that night. I know it's not the end of the line for Brandon in the UFC. Since Dana White is talking about bringing in the flyweights into the UFC in the near future, I know it won't be long until I have to fight him again.
Speaking of flyweights, two flyweights other than myself made into the house: Josh "Taz" Ferguson and Louis "Goodnight" Gaudinot. Naturally, you know who I'm gonna side with in the house, other than my very own teammate at Team Jackson-Winkeljohn, featherweight Diego Brandao. I know that I might have to fight one of them on the show or even later down the road, but since the UFC hasn't added a flyweight class into the organization, we all have to step up and make a statement.
So, all you flyweights out there watching this season, know that we're gonna give Dana more than a reason to add us in the UFC and have flyweight main events really, really soon.