By most counts, John Dodson is the No. 1 contender to UFC flyweight champion Demetrious “Mighty Mouse” Johnson’s belt. It appears that it will be a while before he’ll have an opportunity to cash in on his position, however.
Dodson underwent surgery on his anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) and a torn meniscus on Wednesday, according to Fox Sports. He is expected to be sidelined for the next six to eight months. It will likely be about one year before he’s able to fight again.
“I'm looking at six to eight months of me actually being out before I can start going back in the gym and going hard and stuff,” Dodson told Fox Sports on Thursday.
The injury stems back to his preparations for a fight with Scott Jorgensen in 2013. Dodson let his knee heal, but it flared up again before the recent UFC Fight Night Albuquerque, where he scored a TKO victory over John Moraga when the bout was stopped on the recommendation of the doctor.
“I ended up tearing my ACL and my MCL before the Scott Jorgensen fight and then (again) when I was getting ready for this fight against John Moraga,” he said.
“I didn't know it was going to be too much of a problem, but then when I threw that first kick, I felt my knee pop.”
After Johnson successfully defended his belt against Ali Bagautinov a week after Dodson’s victory over Moraga, most people thought Dodson would likely be granted a rematch against Johnson, but the knee surgery obviously puts any such plans on hold.
Now Dodson will have to focus on recovery, eyeing a possible title shot sometime in 2015.