Bantamweight winner takes Best Knockout award
For the first time in 14 seasons, the UFC introduced a season-ending bonus plan for “The Ultimate Fighter.”
On Saturday, four fighters were given $25,000 awards based on fan voting for Best Fight, Best Knockout and Best Submission. The nominees were announced Wednesday after the last regular-season episode of TUF on Spike TV. Fans were able to vote for winners from five nominees in each of the three categories at Spike’s Facebook page and the official TUF website.
John Dodson had a pretty big Saturday in Las Vegas. First, he won the bantamweight Season 14 TUF title and the UFC contract that comes with it. His win over T.J. Dillashaw also got him a $40,000 Knockout of the Night Bonus. And then he found out he was the $25,000 Best Knockout winner for his second-round KO against Johnny Bedford in the semifinals. Not a bad way to kick off a UFC career.
To win the award, Dodson had to get past TUF featherweight winner Diego Brandao, who was nominated three times in the knockout category – one for each of his fights this season, all of which were first-round KOs. (But Brandao likely isn’t crying over that loss – he was a double bonus winner for Fight of the Night and Submission of the Night on Saturday, netting $80,000.)
Dustin Pague and Louis Gaudinot each picked up $25,000 for Best Fight for their bantamweight quarterfinal bout, topping Dodson twice, including his semifinal win over Bedford. It was a consolation prize for both Pague and Gaudinot – each was dominated in their fights at the TUF 14 Finale, losing by TKO.
And Dennis Bermudez dropped the featherweight finale to Brandao in stunning fashion, tapping to an armbar with just nine seconds left in the first round after coming close to finishing Brandao with strikes. But Bermudez did pick up $25,000 for Best Submission on the show for his semifinal guillotine against Akira Corissani.
Winners were announced during Saturday’s broadcast of the TUF 14 Finale on Spike.