Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images
With the upcoming debut of the UFC flyweight class in Australia that will feature the opening round of a four-man tournament to determine the first 125 lb. champion, many were concerned that the UFC hadn't booked additional flyweight bouts for upcoming cards, but now that has begun to change. Late last night, the UFC announced that TUF 14 bantamweight winner, John Dodson, will drop down to flyweight to face Brazilian Jiu Jitsu standout, Darren Uyenoyama, at UFC on Fox 3 in New Jersey on May 5th:
Also at that event, verbal agreements are in for a meetup at 125 pounds between last season's Ultimate Fighter bantamweight winner, John Dodson, and Darren Uyenoyama. Both men are moving down from 135 pounds to do battle in the UFC's newest division, flyweight.
Dodson, a member of Greg Jackson's team, was an early favorite to win the bantamweight division on his season of The Ultimate Fighter, and he certainly lived up to the hype, knocking out two of the three foes he faced in the opening rounds of the competition, and then doing the same to the highly-touted T.J. Dillashaw at the live finale. "The Magician" has fought at flyweight before, in his pro debut when he suffered a close decision loss against Yasuhiro Urushitani, who's currently a top-ranked flyweight and will participate in the upcoming UFC tournament.
Uyenoyama is a grappling specialist and a native of San Francisco, although his Japanese heritage has led to several fights abroad for Asian promotions like Deep and Shoto. The BJJ black belt hadn't really raised any eyebrows while competing for those promotions as well for Strikeforce, but his impressive ground skills were certainly on display in his UFC debut against the always dangerous, Norifumi Yamamoto. The "Bonecrusher" completely shut down Yamamoto's heavy hands and forced him to the ground where the Californian dominated the grappling exchanges en-route to a unanimous decision win.
John "The Magician" Dodson (12-5)
W. T.J. Dillashaw (TKO) - TUF 14 Finale
W John Moraga (unam. decision) - Nemesis Fighting: Global Invasion
W Jessie Riggleman (unam. decision) - UWC 8
Darren "Bonecrusher" Uyenoyama (7-3)
W Norifumi Yamamoto (unam. decision) - UFC on Fox 1
W Shuichiro Katsumura (TKO) - Shooto: Way of Shooto 5
L Tomoya Miyashita (submission) - Deep 47