John Dodson takes on Francisco Rivera Jr. at XMMA 4: Black Magic on Saturday, April 2 in New Orleans, Louisiana. This headline fight is one of 12 bouts on a card that features 14 fighters who have previously fought in the UFC. Dodson has won just two of his last five fights, but at one time he was thought of as one of the top flyweight fighters in the world. Rivera Jr. has won just two of his last five bouts but one of those wins was at XMMA 1: Vick vs. Fialho. Let’s take a look at the feature fight between Dodson and Rivera Jr. and also look at fights between Kyle Stewart and Zak Ottow and Cole Smith vs. John Sweeney.
XMMA 4 Black Magic takes place at The Fillmore in New Orleans, Louisiana on Saturday, April 2 with 12 fights on the card that can be seen on Fight Network, YouTube, Facebook and Twitch.
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John Dodson (21-13)
Dodson has gone 1-4 in his last five fights. He last fought at XMMA 3: Vice City and lost a unanimous decision to Cody Gibson. Before that bout he lost to Merab Dvalishvili at UFC 252 in August of last year. Dodson defeated Nathaniel Wood in February of 2020, lost to Petr Yan in February of 2019 and lost to Jimmie Rivera in September of 2018. Dodson has been a pro since 2004 and he has 10 wins by knockout and two by submission. He has nine first round finishes.
Francisco Rivera Jr. (13-8)
Rivera has gone 2-3 in his last five fights. He last fought in the Combate Global bantamweight tournament where he won a unanimous decision against Nohelin Hernandez and lost by 2nd round knockout to David Martinez. Rivera Jr. won by 1st round TKO against Ryan Lilley at XMMA 1: Vick vs. Fialho in January of last year. Rivera Jr. lost to Erik Perez by unanimous decision at UFC 201 in July of 2016 and he lost a split decision to Brad Pickett in February of 2016. Rivera Jr. has been a pro since 2008 and he has 9 knockouts in his career.
The last time we saw Dodson he could not do enough to handle Gibson and when I wrote up the pick on that fight, I said the best bet was to play the rounds to go over and that pick turned out to be correct, as the fight went to a decision. Dodson is simply not a fighter who is much of a finisher at this point in his career. Rivera Jr. has more power than Dodson, so just taking the rounds to go over this time around is no sure thing. This is a big fight for Dodson, as he can’t go out and lose another headline fight and expect to keep getting top billing. Rivera Jr. is definitely nothing special, as he couldn’t even dominate in Combate Global. I will take Dodson to get this win.
In one of the other key fights, it is Kyle Stewart taking on Zak Ottow. Stewart has been solid in his career with a record of 14-5 with 10 knockouts, while Ottow has also been good with a record of 20-7 with 11 knockouts. Stewart has won three of his last five fights, while Ottow has won four of his last five. These two have shown good power throughout their careers, with a combined 21 knockouts, so I will go under the rounds total in this fight.
In another interesting fight it is Cole Smith going against John Sweeney Smith is 7-2 but has not fought since losing to Hunter Azure in 2009. Sweeney is 9-3 and has won his last three fights. If Smith is really ready to go, he should win this fight, as he is the superior fighter and has fought better competition. I will take Smith in this bout.
|DIVISION ||FIGHTERS ||ODDS |
|Bantamweight ||John Dodson ||TBA |
|Francisco Rivera Jr. ||TBA |
|Middleweight ||Kyle Stewart ||TBA |
|Zak Ottow ||TBA |
|Welterweight ||Bobby Nash ||TBA |
|Felipe Boaventura ||TBA |
|Welterweight ||John Howard ||TBA |
|Ange Loosa ||TBA |
|Bantamweight ||Louie Sanoudakis ||TBA |
|Tateki Matsuda ||TBA |
|Lightweight ||Kyle Bochniak ||TBA |
|Carlton Minus ||TBA |
|Featherweight ||Matt Sayles ||TBA |
|Tyrek Malveaux ||TBA |
|Welterweight ||Kyron Bowen ||TBA |
|Sasha Palatnikov ||TBA |
|Bantamweight ||Andrew Garrette ||TBA |
|Justin Mead ||TBA |
|Featherweight ||Josh Harvey ||TBA |
|Adli Edwards ||TBA |
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