#Bellator 185 #Gegard Mousasi #Alexander Shlemenko #Kristina Williams #Bellator MMA #Heather Hardy #Neiman Gracie #Zak Bucia #Conor McGregor #UFC 216 #Fight Night Rotterdam #Tony Ferguson #Venom

John Dodson is prepared to step up and fight fellow top-ranked bantamweight Jimmie Rivera on less than two weeks’ notice at UFC Fight Night 103 later this month.

Rivera (20-1 MMA, 4-0 UFC) is in need of a replacement opponent for the event after Bryan Caraway (21-7 MMA, 6-2 UFC) suffered an injury and on Wednesday was forced to withdraw from the matchup. Dodson (18-8 MMA, 7-3 UFC) posted on his Twitter account and said he would be happy to do it – he just needs UFC matchmakers to oblige.

UFC Fight Night 103 takes place Jan. 15 at Talking Stick Resort Arena in Phoenix. The card airs on FS1 following early prelims on UFC Fight Pass.

Dodson, a two-time UFC flyweight title challenger, is coming off a split-decision loss to John Lineker at UFC Fight Night 96 in October. Despite landing several hard shots and implementing a solid game plan, the judges viewed Lineker’s forward pressure as more meaningful and awarded the Brazilian with the win.

The fight marked Dodson’s first UFC loss at 135 pounds. He started his career in the division by starching eventual champ T.J. Dillashaw, but then dropped down to flyweight where he’s spent the majority of his octagon tenure.

Dodson moved back up to bantamweight in April and scored a 47-second TKO of Manny Gamburyan, but then ran into a setback in the fight with Lineker.

Rivera, No. 8 in the latest USA TODAY Sports/MMAjunkie MMA bantamweight rankings, was hoping to put himself in line for a title shot with a victory over Caraway after he picked up the biggest win of his career with a unanimous decision over now-retired former WEC champ Urijah Faber at UFC 203 in September.

“El Terror” is currently riding one of the longest winning streaks in all of MMA. Rivera has won his past 19 fights dating back to February 2009, including four-straight wins under the UFC banner.

It’s unknown if the UFC is considering Dodson’s request to fight at UFC Fight Night 103, but in terms of relevant replacements, it’s unlikely to get much better.

For more on UFC Fight Night 103, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

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