A former flyweight title challenger is set to take on a former bantamweight title challenger and ex-WEC champion in Nashville.
John Dodson (18-8 MMA, 7-3 UFC), who recently returned to the bantamweight division, will face Eddie Wineland (23-11-1 MMA, 5-5 UFC) at UFC Fight Night 108 in April. Officials announced the new booking today.
UFC Fight Night 108 takes place April 22 at Bridgestone Arena in Nashville. It airs on FS1 following early prelims on UFC Fight Pass, though the bout order hasn’t been finalized.
Dodson won Season 14 of “The Ultimate Fighter” at bantamweight by knocking out future champ T.J. Dillashaw, but dropped to flyweight immediately after the show. He won his first two UFC fights in the division, that challenged champ Demetrious Johnson for the title. He lost by unanimous decision at UFC on FOX 6 in January 2013.
Atter three more flyweight wins, he again got a shot at “Mighty Mouse,” and again left on the wrong end of the judges’ scorecards at UFC 191. Then he chose to return to bantamweight. At UFC on FOX 19 nearly a year ago, he knocked out Manny Gamburyan in 37 seconds. But in the UFC Fight Night 96 main event this past October, he dropped a split call to John Lineker. Now he’ll try to get back on track against the hard-hitting Wineland.
Wineland, the WEC’s first bantamweight champion, has won back-to-back fights by knockout after a skid that saw him drop three of four fights. After losses to Urijah Faber and Joseph Benavidez in his first two UFC bouts after closing his WEC tenure on a four-fight winning streak, Wineland got a performance bonus for a knockout of Scott Jorgensen, then took a split call from Brad Pickett.
Those wins got him a shot at then-interim bantamweight champion Renan Barao, but he lost by second-round TKO at UFC 165. He rebounded with a TKO of Yves Jabouin, but then suffered a jaw-breaking brutal knockout to Johnny Eduardo that kept him sidelined for more than a year. He returned in July 2015 against Bryan Caraway, but dropped a decision.
Since then, though, the power puncher seems to have been back to himself. He knocked out Frankie Saenz after a year off following the Caraway loss for a performance bonus in front of his home-area Chicago fans at UFC on FOX 20 this past July. And in December, he knocked out Takeya Mizugaki in the first round at UFC on FOX 23.
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