UFC releases ex-title challenger John Dodson
Josh Hedges / UFC / Getty

The UFC parted ways with a longtime contender in the lighter weight classes.

Former flyweight title challenger John Dodson has been released from the promotion, his manager, Ricky Kottenstette, told MMA Fighting's Damon Martin on Friday night.

"We are excited to see what other offers are out there for John," Kottenstette said. "John is 100% committed to his fight career and he's not diminished in his skill set whatsoever. ... We look forward to talking to any and all promotions to find John the best home for his future."

Dodson had been in the UFC since 2011. He won "The Ultimate Fighter 14" as a bantamweight with a knockout of then-future champion TJ Dillashaw at the show's finale.

Dodson went on to have a successful career at 125 pounds, which included taking on longtime titleholder Demetrious Johnson for the belt twice. "The Magician" came up short both times, but he's considered one of the few challengers to truly test Johnson. Dodson earned notable wins over Jussier Formiga, John Moraga, and Zach Makovsky at flyweight.

The 35-year-old returned to the 135-pound division in 2016 and had mixed results. He picked up wins over the likes of Pedro Munhoz and Eddie Wineland but lost to Petr Yan, Marlon Moraes, and John Lineker.

Dodson, who owns a 21-12 pro MMA record, leaves the UFC losing three of his last four fights. In his final trip to the Octagon, Dodson lost to rising contender Merab Dvalishvili via unanimous decision at UFC 252 in August. His most recent win is a third-round TKO of top prospect Nathaniel Wood in February.

UFC releases ex-title challenger John Dodson
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