MMA fighting styles

The Dodson brothers ready to let their fists fly in Saturday’s bare-knuckle card

Aug. 27 – The Dodson Brothers of Albuquerque (and Moriarty), reunited again for the first time, believe their respective styles are perfectly suited to unarmed combat.

They’ll get their first chance to prove it on Saturday, when bare fists fly at the Rio Rancho Events Center.

The 11-fight Bare Knuckle Fighting Championship card is the first of its kind in New Mexico – a comprehensive roster of inevitably deadly and bloody no-glove fights sanctioned by the New Mexico Athletic Commission.

It’s a welcome development for the Dodsons, who as MMA fighters have never fought on the same card but will on Saturday. Both will make their bare-knuckle debut.

John Dodson is set to face fellow MMA veteran Ryan Benoit (bare-knuckle debut) in a flyweight (125-pound) co-main event. Eric Dodson takes on Nick Villar (0-1-1) in a featherweight bout (145 pounds).

“It’s awesome,” Eric Dodson, 18 months younger than his brother John, 37, said in a phone interview. “It’s cool, because we’re brothers and we have our little sibling competition.

“We’re both making their BKFC debuts, so it’s kind of like whoever does best at BKFC on day one… who can get the knockout fastest, that’s what we’re looking for.”

Knockout power has been a trademark of John Dodson during his MMA career, a quality he hopes will be enhanced by the absence of gloves.

“I’m very excited,” he said in a separate phone interview, “because I can go dominate in a new organization and be able to bleed somebody out and bludgeon them.”

But bare-knuckle boxing, he thinks – no shooting for takedowns, no submission hold, etc. – also offers him a chance to take full advantage of his speed and elusiveness – hence the nickname “The Magician”.

“I can carry on with the back and forth motions that I have that everyone seems to have a hard time dealing with,” he said.

“I’m so explosive, and being the most creative fighter in the world and being equally able to maneuver inside and out, I don’t expect to be hit anytime soon.”

John Dodson has had a long and successful career in MMA, which he says is definitely not over just because he’s trying something new.

“Absolutely not,” he said. “I want to make sure that I can go forward and do both, both ways of going forward and being a bare-knuckle world champion and also being a world arts champion. mixed martial arts.”

Eric Dodson, on the other hand, only had five amateur MMA fights, going 3-2, and never turned pro. Since the last fight in February 2018, he is no longer on the job market.

Still, he stayed involved – offering his services to his brother and other Albuquerque-area fighters as a sparring partner.

“I help a lot of fighters, people who my skills would be useful to,” he said. “I always stay in the gym.”

The younger Dodson caught the eye of the BKFC, and vice versa, when the organization held a tryout event at recently retired MMA fighter Donald Cerrone’s BMF Ranch in Edgewood. A couple of previous BKFC opportunities fell through but now he’s making his home debut which he said ‘worked out perfectly for us’.

John Dodson thinks Eric’s style is even more suited to unarmed combat than his own.

“It’s an opportunity for my brother because it’s in his field,” the older brother said. “It’s his fighting style, 100%. My brother is so precise with his punches that he actually broke a few bones in my face while I was getting ready for a few fights. He’s one of the most dangerous guys out there.”

The Dodsons didn’t hesitate to ask for help when preparing for this new adventure. John Dodson spoke at length with Taylor Starling, half of Saturday’s main event against Christine Ferea in a fight for Ferea’s women’s flyweight title.

The Dodsons also spoke with former Jackson-Wink teammates Leonard Garcia and Isaac Vallie-Flagg.

Garcia, an MMA veteran, retired from combat sports after going 2-1 in unarmed combat. Vallie-Flagg (3-1) is scheduled to face Brad Kelly (2-1) on Saturday in a middleweight (170-pound) bout.

“No one”, said John Dodson, “will tell you more truth than your friends.”


Saturday, Rio Rancho Events Center, 6 p.m. All fights scheduled for five 2-minute rounds

Christine Ferea (5-1), Las Vegas, Nevada, vs. Taylor Starling (3-0), Rock Hill, SC, for Ferea’s BKFC flyweight title

John Dodson (debut), Albuquerque, vs. Ryan Benoit (debut), Dallas, flyweight

Isaac Vallie-Flagg (3-1), Albuquerque, vs. Brad Kelly (2-1), Hattiesburg, Miss., middleweight

Donald Sanchez (start), Albuquerque, vs. Jeremy Smith (1-0), Johannesburg, light heavyweight

Wilfred Santiago (start), Albuquerque, vs. Jake Young (1-0), Kansas, light heavyweight

Eric Dodson (start), Albuquerque, vs. Nick Villar (0-1-1), Kansas, featherweight

Joshua Morales (start), Chiapas, Mexico, vs. Antonio Soto III (2-0), Hickory, NC, middleweight

Joshua Moreno (start), San Antonio, Texas, vs. Zion Tomlinson (2-2), Roanoke, Va., light heavyweight

Kyle McElroy (0-2), Albuquerque, vs. Josh Watson (0-1), Portland, Maine, heavyweights

Jayme Hinshaw (start), Albuquerque, vs. Cassie Robb (0-2), Casper, Wyo., flyweight

Jeremy Sauceda (debut), Albuquerque, vs. Roderick Stewart (debut), Abilene, Texas, light heavyweight