John Dodson on TJ Dillashaw: ‘He’s Had Everything Handed to Him’

December 2, 2011

John Dodson

Draft dodger.

It was an unaffectionate nickname that TUF 14 finalist John Dodson bestowed on his former housemate T.J. Dillashaw when he was gunning for the two to fight during the season in the elimination bouts.

Dodson insisted that he wanted to fight Dillashaw after the former college wrestler stated that he believed he was the best on the show, and Dodson wanted him to prove it.

Obviously the fight never happened then, but it’s happening now, as Dodson and Dillashaw square off in the TUF season 14 finale for the reality show.

There’s a lot on the line when Dodson meets Dillashaw. First off, there’s team pride.

“He’s an Alpha Male; I’m from Jackson’s,” Dodson explained. “We’re the two best schools for our weight class. He thinks he trains with the best guys in that division for 135 and 145, and he’s really going to try to do the Alpha Male supremacy. Just sit there and try to ground and pound me out, thinking he’s going to be faster than me.”

Second, Dodson believes that Dillashaw carries around a certain heir of entitlement when it comes to his complex as a fighter.

“Honestly, who wants to come in second place? This was a tournament and this fight’s for first. I don’t want to sit here and come in second to a guy who only has four fights and has had everything handed to him,” Dodson explained.

“I talked to the kid in the house and he said he hasn’t had a real job. He’s never had a real job. He’s basically had everything handed to him. He went through high school, had his parents pay for everything. Went through college, his parents paid for everything. He’s doing this and probably Urijah’s (Faber) paying for him.”

Growing up in tough neighborhoods and literally having to fight for everything he’s ever had riles Dodson up whenever he thinks about Dillashaw’s path to their fight at The Ultimate Fighter 14 Finale.

Dodson has never had anything given to him, he’s had to fight for every scrap, and so he plans to show Dillashaw what hard work and dedication really mean.

“He doesn’t know what hard work really is. I know what it is, (expletive) I came from the slums. I’m from the bottom of the barrel. I know what hard work is. I’ve worked three jobs, trying to go to school, and do this full time. Please. I’ve worked a lot harder than this kid will ever do,” Dodson said.

“It motivates me to prove to the world that there’s no such thing as pure, raw talent. Hard work will always surpass raw talent. That’s the motivating drive for me.”

Coming into the show, Dodson already had more that four times the experience as Dillashaw in professional fights. Dodson has been in deep waters before, almost drowned and made his way back to the surface.

He’s planning on showing Dillashaw exactly what that feels like on Saturday night.

“I know what it feels like to fight for five rounds. I know what it feels like in title shots. I know what it feels like to put everything on the line; he doesn’t. He might tell you he does, but I don’t see him winning any Division I national championships,” Dodson stated.

“I’m going to do the same thing to T.J. that I did to (Johnny) Bedford. I’m going to make him wake up in a different state. Bedford woke up and thought he was back in Ohio, that sent him back seven or eight years. Hopefully T.J. it will bring him back to grade school.”

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