John Dodson Embraces the Hate, but Asks Why the Haters Don’t Step in the Cage

October 10, 2012
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A funny thing happened to John Dodson Friday night during and after his fight against Jussier da Silva at UFC on FX 5.

Despite a second-round knockout, Dodson was overwhelmed by the jeers coming from the crowd in attendance in Minnesota. The boos were heard loudly during the first round, and again in the second, even when Dodson put da Silva away with strikes, cementing his spot at the UFC’s new No. 1 contender at 125 pounds.

The flyweight division is new to the UFC, but the last two high profile fights in the weight class have been met with the same kind of fan reaction. When Demetrious Johnson defeated Joseph Benavidez last month to crown the first ever UFC flyweight champion, they faced the same kind of fan criticism in loud order from those in attendance in Toronto.

UFC president Dana White lashed out at the fans who booed the flyweight co-main event, and on Friday the 125-pound fighters found back-up from a heavyweight who happened to be in the crowd that night.

As Dodson battled da Silva in the cage, an unruly fan decided to not only boo their performance, but began name calling the flyweight fighters. UFC heavyweight Pat Barry, who was seated a few rows in front of the fan, decided enough was enough and stood up and called out the fan for his remarks.

“Pat Barry sent me pictures and he was sitting there texting me. I like Pat Barry as a fighter, and I didn’t know I was one of his favorite fighters until he was sitting there going ‘you’re amazing, you got all this energy,’ and you know what, Pat, thank you,” Dodson said about Barry when speaking to MMAWeekly Radio on Monday.

“He was sitting there telling this dude to shut up cause the guy was sitting there calling me a (expletive). He’s like ‘you guys are (expletive), John Dodson’s you’re a (expletive)’, and Pat Barry stood up and said ‘hey, what did you say?’ and the guy like buried himself into his seat and started crouching down and didn’t want to say nothing.”

Fans booing at a sporting event is nothing new, and the general consensus is that if you plunk down your hard earned money to pay for a ticket then you have carte blanche to cheer if you want to cheer, or boo if you want to boo.

Dodson doesn’t necessarily disagree in some instances, but when name calling and cursing starts happening, he wonders why there is so much venom being thrown towards the fighters who are doing something the fan wasn’t willing to do.

“For all those fans that are going to sit there and call a fighter a (expletive), tell someone that they suck, tell them they don’t know how to fight, tell them they’ve got no heart, I’d like for you guys to go ahead and go out there and do it,” said Dodson.

“You guys want to judge us and be critics of it, but yet none of you guys are doing it. This is what our lives and our dream is, and yet you guys are sitting there being like the outside viewers looking in. Like we’re giving it our all and you guys are like ‘this sucks, you guys are horrible.'”

For Dodson, it’s not about being loved or being hated, it’s about fans appreciating the effort and hard work that goes into any fighter stepping into the cage. If there was one thing that Dodson did take away as a positive, however, it was being welcomed into the fraternity of UFC fighters by his larger than average co-worker.

“It made me feel more welcome and appreciate the fact that other people like us flyweights, other fighters appreciate our fighting style. He can stand up for his brothers in arms, being another fighter. Pat Barry is awesome,” said Dodson.

Since spending time on the 14th season of The Ultimate Fighter, Dodson has been one of those fighters with a ‘love/hate’ relationship with the fans. He goes out and finishes fights, or puts on exciting fights he doesn’t finish, but still he feels the heat from some fans who he just happens to rub the wrong way.

Well, if the fans need a fighter to hate, John Dodson is happy to be that guy because he’s not changing the way he fights, the way he speaks or the way he acts for anybody.

“If they need somebody to hate, they can go ahead and hate me as much as they want. I’m not going to be one of those guys to sit there pouting, ‘jeez, I wish you guys would stop hating me, I wish you guys would be on my side. Please, please stop picking on me.’ No, if you want somebody to hate, go ahead and hate me, but I’m going to keep on being me,” said Dodson.

“I’m going to keep on being the little cartoon character that I am.”

To hear the full interview with John Dodson as well as Jon Fitch and Steve Magdaleno, listen to Monday’s edition of MMAWeekly Radio

  • Echinsu_ocha

    I think that as the smaller weight classes get more exposure, the fans will begin to appreciate them more. Think about it, some fans are used to watching 2 big guys push each other against the cage or lay on each other the whole fight. Sure you’ll always have the guys who want to get drunk, talk crap and boo…. Hell even that helps cause guys like Dodson will take that as fuel to fight even harder.

  • bajafox

    The fans aren’t even giving these guys a chance. They’re awesome to watch and I for one am a Dodson fan. Can’t wait to see him and Mighty Mouse go at it

    • Echinsu_ocha

      Exactly, the only complaint I have against these guys is that they’re too damn fast! LOL slow down and let me see what you’re doing please!!!!!

      • bajafox

        lol, same here, just DVR it and watch it in slow motion so you don’t miss anything

  • Corey

    The Dodson fight was good, better then the championship fight. I personally can’t stand Dodson and his fake smile, but atleast he did more than just jump around like the Champ.
    That being said, someone should tell Dodson without those booing fans he wouldn’t have a job and his tiny ass would be running around as a rodeo clown.

    • shakejunt

      sick burn bro

  • b jinnies

    the “MMA” fan dont like black fighters.

    • macgrubber

      AMEN to that bro

    • Somecokehead

      Who does??

  • King_DG

    this little dude probably punches just as hard as a middleweight

  • Timothy Malone

    I like the flyweights, but Dodson’s reasoning that we can’t complain because we don’t get in the cage is stupid and never works. If my doctor almost kills me I can’t complain because I’m not a doctor? Dont be dumb, Dodson

  • Beatwad

    I understand why some of the fans who boo. When they come to a UFC event, they want action. That’s what the see in the UFC commercials, fantastic knockouts. They don’t seem to understand the human chess match aspect the fighters are going through. One wrong move and the fight could end. They boo other fighters on the card for the same reason. Some others probably didn’t like John Dodson on the Ultimate Fighter. It comes with the territory. Just ignore them and do your thing, John.

    • macgrubber

      i just dont like fighters that are
      1) smaller than me
      2) ones i can beat up. Its like fighting a little kid.
      and dodson is both so I especially dont like him.

      • shakejunt

        oh you trane???

      • Jeff Rosenberg

        yeah. rite. he wood smash ure ass in 2 seconds I bet ahole

  • Congratulations to dodson on his win. I watched that fight and didn’t find it to have much replay value, so I thought it was funny when he said to watch In slo mo.

    Personally I never buy any PPV headlined by fly, feather, etc weights. We’re getting cards basically made up of all natural lightweights cutting these days. That’s why boxing sucks; there’s fifty belts with two pounds between each. It’s one of the reasons the UFC is going downhill in terms of the quality of the cards.

    Muhammad Ali, George Foreman, Joe Frazier… Junior Dos Santos, Alistair Overeem, Cain Velasquez, Dan Cormier.

    These are names that interest everyone. anyone on that list would destroy other champions in lighter weight classes, and the world knows it.

    These guys will beat anyone. Hype up his speed all you like, there are middle of the road guys a weight class or two above that would beat john dodson however they chose.
    There are probably bouncers at the local titty bar that would beat the crap out of him, and that’s the sad fact of the matter.

    A hundred twenty pound guy is suited for fighting the way a girl who weighs over two hundred pounds is suited for porno. There’s lightweights who can bang and there’s fatties who aren’t disgusting, but they are the exception rather than the rule. Fact is people just aren’t willing to pay money for either, in general.

    Bellators heavyweight tourney was great, and it was even better watching silva stomp hapa. Watching queroz come back and beat holata with that armbar after being flash ko’d, and prindles sack stomp was hilarious. Those are fights that put asses in seats. I had a dozen people at my house watching the fights, drinking beers, and cheering. I’m hoping Dana and bellator put together more cards that interest people like the hose; that is the way to get me to buy a 50 dollar PPV.

    • MuayThaiFood

      Everyone is entitled to his own opinion but your argument really is that there is only one weight class worth watching. You’re dead wrong about one thing. Fatties doing porn ARE disgusting.

      • Incorrect. Obviously heavy is my favorite, but everything down to 155 is great. I enjoy all the classes from 155 -up. Aldo’s ok but I’d rather see him fight edger at 155. There is no reason on earth for a man to cut weight if he walks around at a hundred fifty five pounds. It’s not only unhealthy but it creates ridiculous weight classes.

        As for fatties, that’s a pretty good analogy of why I don’t like 125 pound guys fighting. Not every fight that light is terrible, but most of them are like sparring matches rather than fights for the damage that is done. They simply don’t hit very hard.
        There is for sure some woman out there weighting around 200 or so and looking half decent. I haven’t seen her but I’m sure she exists. but for every one who isn’t a troll there are a thousand who are. In general, I don’t like fat broads without clothes, and in general I don’t like watchful midgets fight. Fat bzs and little dudes don’t like to hear it, that’s fine. I don’t buy porn with fatties or fights with midgets, and I let my wallet do the voting for me. If Dana doesn’t want me to buy his cards, he’s absolutely going about it right.

    • Anthony Lopez

      This makes absolutely no sense. A fighter’s not worth watching if he’s not a heavyweight? I honestly don’t think this is the sport for you

      • It makes plenty of sense if you read it. Heavyweight= great. Everything down to 155= fantastic. Fights below 155 – why?

        This economy sucks. I’m not spending my cash on a 50 dollar PPV made up of guys who stand over a foot shorter and a hundred pounds lighter than I do, because I can’t relate. There are cards with no heavyweight matches and multiple flyweight matches these days, and that is a problem.

        If the UFC can sell shows that way, power to em. But they’re not selling em to me. Weak cards is why. Too many belts in too many divisions.

        Does no one else see the irony in a statement like “the #1 fighter in the world at 125 pounds”?
        Basically if you’re a champ, you should be able to kick the average guys ass on the street, and a guy who’s 5’3 and a buck twenty isn’t kicking too much ass unless he’s fighting men who are the size of children.

        • shakejunt

          ahhh, the internet, where anonymous tough guys go to be anonymous tough guys… oh, it’s also the place where you don’t have to pay for stuff so the poor economy is no excuse for your lack of appreciation

          • You really haven’t addressed any of the points in my post.

            The point is, I am willing to buy a good card for $50. I feel like the cards are being watered down, and weight cutting is a big part of it.

            If the whole card is made up of guys who are smaller than for refs, it doesn’t capture my interest. And judging by the crowds reaction for every single one of these high profile midget matches so far, I am far from the only one who feels that way.

            I used to buy every single PPV.
            Now I’d rather go out on a Saturday night, at least if i watch it at a bar i can use these filler fights to get a beer. or scroll down mmaweekly the next morning for the results of the one middleweight and light heavy fight each per card, since some of them don’t even have heavyweight matches anymore. I can only speak for myself, but that is a big reason for the decline in my interest.

  • George Sperry

    I am losing interest in MMA and the UFC even more so. I hear all the complaining and the reasons people are upset and most of them don’t apply to me at all. Too many events? Lower weight classes? They sure aren’t my reasons. I have searched my brain for the reason and what bothers me more than anything else are the fans. It seems that as MMA expands and attracts “new” fans they have attracted far too many people that don’t like MMA but like behemoths standing still pounding on each other.
    The appreciation for different styles matched against each other, the intricacies of the grappling etc. are not only not appreciated but actually disliked.
    I like KO’s but I also like watching 2 guys scramble for 2 mins. making small changes to improve position going toward a finish.
    As the game attracts more fans the game will have to change to please these new fans, especially as they become the majority rather than the minority.
    So it looks like MMA is leaving me behind. It is the only “pro” sport I still watch and I am watching it less and less as more and more of it is available on free TV.
    Nothing stays the same and progress always involves change.

    • You know, I rather agree with you. Sadly, but I do. Evolution is a wonderful thing but soon will come a time where we as fans won’t even be able to even approach a little guy like Dodson who I think is a incredible athlete. If you love the sport booing stupidly makes no sense.And then to do so at a live televised event. Reality is is this–everyone has “not” brought into this sport we love. Therefore the dumb antics from those that know the history of the sport as fans is beyond belief. That’s the behavior left for the fad chasers. Mighty Mose Uncle Creepy etc those guys “know” they are small and chased anyway their dreams and climbed in a cage. Which is what Dodson is saying. Those boo-ing I can’t see it cuz no real training fighter would do that to another fighter. Bisping jokes about them but he goes on record giving them props. I’ve slacked from watching MMA not cuz of the fighters but everything else that comes with it. I mean, look at he big deal in UFC151 being cancelled? Not unheard of back in the day for an event to be pulled. Now this time? All hell broke loose bout it.

  • They were booing at his boring fight he didn’t do anything jumped around like a idiot

  • Somecokehead

    Who does?

  • Milosc

    I say this all the time:

    “Idiocracy” was just a forward thinking documentary

  • Santz

    I have nothing against expanding weight classes, but I can’t stand 2 guys dancing around each other unwilling to commit for a whole fight. Take the championship fight for example. It’s like ok we get it, you’re fast but how about you plant your feet and commit to your punches to try and finish instead of hopping around all over the cage for 5 rounds. As far as why people don’t like Dodson…probably cause he seems like a little weirdo…what’s with the stupid exaggerated wave and smile? Is he trying to be funny? Just looks ridiculous and fake. I didn’t watch him on TUF cause the show’s just gone downhill, and I lost interest many seasons ago.

  • DamianCross

    I can’t speak for the rest of the world but Dodson clearly has no idea how hard it is to find a decent gym in my area that doesn’t want half my paycheck every month.

    • helio

      lol you must be one broke dude;

      • shakejunt

        no, seriously man. bjj academies are expensive, especially high profile gyms. example: renzo’s academy is like 200 a month and serra’s like 150.

  • Ray

    I think John Dodson is missing the point….. It’s not that the fans hate the FW division (I heard lots of cheers at both Johnson/McCall fights, and every time Joe B fights)…. I just think people like HIM. His goofy antics and acting like an idiot make me root for him to get KOed EVERY fight he’s in

  • I was there. The fans booed the first round and the beginning of the second round because there was pretty little action, but the finish fired the crowd up. There was a lot of cheering at the finish, and far more cheers than boos for his post-fight interview.

  • I’m a hater and I’ll fight you Jon. I’m an overweight 42 year old 80 kilo diabetic bloke who has trained a little for fun at local BJJ / Muay Thai classes in England. If Jon goofy F£$kwit Dodson wants to fight me in a UFC, I’ll fight the pathetic little 541t for free if the UFC pays my expenses. In fact, one on one bet, I bet him personally 2000 USD I win.

    • Still – still no message accepting my challenge. Anyone on his team reading this? Easy to throw challenges out Jon – you shouldn’t write cheques with your mouth your ass can’t cash.