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Former UFC title challenger John Dodson to make RIZIN debut on New Years Eve

“The Magician” John Dodson is set to compete against Hideo Tokoro at RIZIN 40 on New Years Eve.

“The Magician” John Dodson is set to compete against Hideo Tokoro at RIZIN 40 on New Years Eve
“The Magician” John Dodson is set to compete against Hideo Tokoro at RIZIN 40 on New Years Eve
Photo by Mike Roach/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

“The Magician” John Dodson is scheduled to make his RIZIN FF debut at RIZIN 40 this New Years Eve in a fight against fellow longtime combat sports veteran Hideo Tokoro, in an MMA bout.

In this case, the specification is necessary, since each RIZIN event features a mix of mixed martial arts, kickboxing, grappling, custom-rules bouts, and even the occasional boxing match. Dodson enters this bout off a victory in the bare knuckle boxing ring. The ‘Magician’ knocked out fellow UFC veteran Ryan Benoit in a swift 40-seconds at BKFC 28 back in August of this year.

Not only is Dodson returning to MMA, but he’s also returning to 125-pounds. John fought for the UFC flyweight title twice, once in 2013 and then again in 2015, and fell short both times to the great Demetrious Johnson. Along the way, the longtime Jackson-Wink talent produced several stellar finishes with the promotion, stopping the likes of T.J. Dillashaw, Jussier Formiga, and Manny Gamburyan.

With a current record of 22-13, Dodson exited UFC with a promotional record of 10-7, and then hit there regional circuit for a pair of fights—first dropping a decision to ex-UFC fighter Cody Gibson, and then grabbing a unanimous decision nod over Francisco Rivera. At 38-years-old, perhaps The Magician can manifest an MMA career resurgence in Japan.

At 35-31-2, the 45-year-old Hideo Tokoro has been around the block a time or two (or three). Tokoro started competing in MMA in Japan in 2000, and has been steadily scrapping ever since. If you look on his resume you will find MMA matches, grappling contests, and even a custom rules bout. As far as opposition goes, Tokoro has shared the air with the likes of Caol Uno, Royce Gracie, Ivan Menjivar, Royler Gracie, Kyoji Horiguchi, Brad Pickett, and even Tenshin Nasukawa to name a few. Sure his record is approaching .500, but give this man his flowers.