Caros Fodor to take on 'crime-fighting' brother 'Phoenix Jones' in WSOF

Combat columnist
Cagewriter
Ben Fodor, also known as Phoenix Jones (middle), will fight his brother, Caros Fodor, in a World Series of Fighting event on July 30. (The Associated Press)

PHOENIX JONES

Ben Fodor, also known as Phoenix Jones (middle), will fight his brother, Caros Fodor, in a World Series of Fighting event on July 30. (The Associated Press)

Caros Fodor has a little advice before hanging up and his tone has changed. He's spent about 20 minutes discussing his July 30 bout in the World Series of Fighting and going over the strengths and weaknesses of his opponent, Phoenix Jones.

He knows Jones better than most, though, because Jones is his brother, whose real name is Ben Fodor. The two don't get along, and haven't for some time. But with their fight now booked, Caros admits, "It's kind of surreal that this is really happening."

Ben Fodor is, to be kind, a character. Phoenix Jones is his alter ego, a so-called crime fighter in Seattle who wears a costume as if he were a modern-day Batman.

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Asked about his brother's superhero shtick, Caros Fodor sniffs dismissively.

"It's [strange]," he said of his brother portraying himself as a crime fighter. "I think it's a gimmick for attention, if you want to know the truth. He started out meaning well, but, I don't know. You know, I don't even like Marvel comic books. I can't read the super hero stuff. I just don't understand it. I'm not belittling it, but I don't get it.

"The fact he does it, wow, I don't know. I guess if you know Ben, it makes sense that he does it."

Ex-UFC fighter Caros Fodor will fight his brother, Ben, on July 30 on a World Series of Fighting show in Everett, Wash. (Photo by Josh Hedges/Getty Images)
Ex-UFC fighter Caros Fodor will fight his brother, Ben, on July 30 on a World Series of Fighting show in Everett, Wash. (Photo by Josh Hedges/Getty Images)

The interview raps up shortly after Caros Fodor makes that statement. But he has something else to add about his adopted brother. He pleads with a reporter to fact check everything his brother says.

"He's a liar and he just makes stuff up and throws it out there," Caros Fodor said. "He'll say almost anyting. He likes to say he was raised in a foster home, but that's not true."

Their mother, Susan Fodor, ran a foster home for autistic children, Caros Fodor said. But she raised Caros and Ben, along with her other children, in her own home.

Earlier, Jones noted that his mother isn't happy about her sons fighting. But he said it is something that has to be done.

"One hundred percent, it's going to make our Mom cry," Jones said. "That's a guarantee. But we've been circling each other for years. This was inevitable."

Ben Fodor, aka Phoenix Jones, started in 2010 to fight crime on the streets of Seattle, where he lived. He was an amateur MMA fighter, but he was most interested in being a modern-day superhero. It began when his car was broken into and his young son was cut on the leg by some of the broken glass.

He patrolled the streets of Seattle in a black-and-yellow rubber suit, with a mask. Police were wary of him, but he wasn't breaking laws, so they had an uneasy alliance. It held until Oct. 8-9, 2011, when he was arrested for spraying someone with pepper spray. He was trying to break up a fight and in the process, someone got pepper sprayed.

In front of reporters at his arraignment, in full costume, Jones removed his mask to reveal his identity as Ben Fodor.

He was 15-2 in a long amateur career and is 6-1 as a pro. He's not nearly as accomplished of a fighter as Caros, who is 10-5 as a pro and has fought in the UFC, Strikeforce, WSOF, King of the Cage and One, and he admits Caros is favored to win.

Phoenix Jones removed his mask to reveal himself as Ben Fodor days after his 2011 arrest in Seattle. (The Associated Press)
Phoenix Jones removed his mask to reveal himself as Ben Fodor days after his 2011 arrest in Seattle. (The Associated Press)

The superhero identity is very real to him and he's been forced to fight, he said, to fund his career.

"I don't have anything else to fall back on," Jones said. " ... My life is built on fighting. It's all I have. If I lose, if I get knocked out badly, it's not just like I can go home and be upset. Every gang banger that I've ever run into, every dude on the street that I've tried to protect, every one of those dudes is going to pull a gun, pull a knife and try to stab me, because they don't respect me any more. I have a lot more to lose [than Caros]."

That is because, he said, fighting is what he does to pay the bills to allow him to pursue his dream of being a crime fighter.

He's asked whether he prefers to be known by his given name, Ben Fodor, or by the name of his alter ego, Phoenix Jones.

"As weird as this sounds, I have to pretend to be Ben more than I have to pretend to be Phoenix," he said. "If something bad happens, I know what I'm supposed to do. Like, the other day, I was out with my girl and we saw a car accident. I pulled over, got my medical kit out of the car and ran down the steet. The cops showed up and they were like, 'Oh hey, Phoenix, what's going on?' I explained the situation to them. The fire department showed up, EMTs I'm cool with.

"That's what I do. I stop fights. I stop problems. I help people. It's who I am. It's what I do. MMA, fighting and being Ben Fodor, that's hard for me."

Caros said it's hard to know how to take his brother. He said it is odd to many people that he'll be fighting his brother in a cage, but said the only people who aren't surprised by it are those who know them the best.

This was almost inevitable, he said. When Caros lost to Luiz Firmino in January, it cleared the path for him to fight his brother. If he'd won, he might have been in the mix for a lightweight title fight. But the loss left him with no logical opponent.

Since the fight with his brother had long been discussed, he agreed.

"I suspected for a while that it was eventually going to happen, but it's coming at a good time because we're not getting along very well," Caros Fodor said. "I'm excited. My career has been up and down and so this will be a good fight for me. I can get in there and make some money.

"I understand the skepticism people have about seeing two brothers fight. I get that. But people who have known us our whole lives, it makes perfect sense to them. I know there will be talk that it's a circus act or that we'll go in there and pretend, but they'll be surprised."

The bout will be the co-main to a featherweight championship bout between Alexandre Almeida and former champion Lance Palmer. Still, the Fodor story will probably steal most of the attention.

"My friends, the people who have known me, when they heard I was fighting Caros, they said, 'Makes sense,' " he said. "But if you think I'm going to make my Mom upset, the person who gave me a chance in life, for some amount of money and I don't feel the passion about it, then you're an idiot.

"If you think I am going to take my reputation as Phoenix Jones, because I could get killed on the street, because I want my ego involved, you're an idiot."

 

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