Filipino-American Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) fighter John “The Magician” Dodson said that he wants to reconnect with his Filipino roots during his three-day Manila visit.
The UFC bantamweight fighter is in the country to hold a series of meet-and-greet and open workouts for his Filipino fans.
“I want to see the true fans of the sport [here]and that I want to showcase why they should keep on coming back,” the 31-year old Dodson said during a news conference on Thursday at the Maxim’s Hotel in Pasay City.
Fresh from his knockout win against Manny Gamburyan in April, Dodson is considered one of the quickest and most explosive bantamweight fighters in the league with an 18-7 win-loss record.
Dodson will have an open workout on June 25 at 1 p.m. at the Robinsons Place in Ermita, Manila with Filipina UFC Octagon Girl Red dela Cruz.
“I want people to understand that I’m a Filipino. She is thee biggest inspiration to my life because she is a woman who works hard to make sure where I am today,” said Dodson whose mother is a Filipina, who raised him and his brother, Eric, as a single parent.
Dodson’s favorite Filipino food is pancit.
Dodson’s Manila tour is presented by UFC and Cignal TV.
“I do not want to encourage the youth but I want to inspire them. I want them to reach great new things. MMA is considered an art and I want them to create their own masterpieces,” he said.
Dodson’s popularity as an MMA fighter started when he joined the UFC’s The Ultimate Fighter in 2011.
He made his UFC debut December 3, 2011 at The Ultimate Fighter 14 Finale against T.J. Dillashaw, where he won via first round technical knockout becoming the first bantamweight winner of the tournament.