When adversity makes you shrink at its feet, allow 5’3” 135-pounder John Dodson to remind you how to overcome challenges of all sizes.
The Fil-Am UFC fighter has been through a lot in his life. He grew up in a single-parent household with his mother, a Filipina named Sarah, and dealt with bullies at school. Despite these challenges, John and his brother Eric stuck together and gutted it out to become the elite pro MMA fighters they are today.
By staying headstrong through hard times, Dodson has developed a winning mentality that has led to the top spot on The Ultimate Fighter and to two flyweight title shots. During his recent visit to Manila, the man known as the “Magician” shared his advise on overcoming huge challenges, both inside and outside the cage.
“What I advise people to do when fighting larger opponents is to gauge your distance and make sure you can control the pace. As soon as you control the pace, they will fold at your will at any given moment.” Dodson says that be it in life or in the Octagon, you always have control over your next move. “That approach goes with everything in life. The only thing that stops you from doing what you wanna do is you.”
Have the heart of a lion
Put Dodson in the cage across Brock Lesnar, and Dodson probably wouldn’t flinch. Why? Because he’s got heart. “I’m the biggest man of them all,” he says. “It’s not about height; what matters is the size of your heart. Do you have the heart of a lion or the little skipping beats of a mouse? That’s what’s gonna tell you if you’re ready to step forward and shine through anything that’s thrown your way, or if you’ll crumble as soon as the little bits of cheese hit your feet. That should be the only size that matters: not your shoes size, your height size, your fist size, your wingspan, or anything else.”
Don’t be paralyzed by fear
Dodson doesn’t let fear stop him from taking risks or gunning for his goals, and he believes that succumbing to fear only sends you back a step. “If I keep on having doubts and worries and fears, I will be that kind of person for the rest of my life,” he says. “I will never be able to take a single step forward; I’ll always be moving backwards.” So when a problem that seems too big to handle comes your way, Dodson says: Don’t hesitate. “Hit 'em fast, him 'em hard, and watch them fall!”
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