John Dodson Stops T.J. Dillashaw, Wins TUF 14 Bantamweight Crown

John Dodson, left, and T.J. Dillashaw

Dodson scores first-round knockout

John Dodson laughed the most during Season 14 of “The Ultimate Fighter.” On Saturday, he also laughed last.

Dodson knocked out T.J. Dillashaw at 1:54 of the first round to become the TUF Season 14 bantamweight champion at The Palms in Las Vegas. And “The Magician” nearly did it with sleight of hand.

Dodson (12-5, 1-0 UFC) spent the first 90 seconds of the fight dancing just out of the way of Dillashaw’s kicks, waiting for chances to counter.

But as Dillashaw (4-1, 0-1 UFC) moved in and threw a right hand, Dodson countered with a heavy left that landed mostly with his forearm. The shot sent Dillashaw to his knees. As Dillashaw popped up on wobbly legs, Dodson landed another left that dropped his opponent again, and it took only a couple short hammerfists before Herb Dean could pull Dodson off and stop the fight.

Seconds later, Dodson was doing flips off each side of the cage.

“I wish I could describe how I feel right now,” Dodson told Joe Rogan after the fight. “You have no idea how long I’ve waited to be here. I don’t care if you guys hate me. Just watch me.”

During the season on the show, Dodson had a TKO to get into the house, a unanimous decision over John Albert to reach the semifinals and a knockout of Johnny Bedford to reach the finale against Dillashaw. Dodson, a Jackson’s MMA fighter for the last decade, has now won three straight.

Dillashaw, who trains at Team Alpha Male with the likes of Urijah Faber and Joseph Benavidez, lost for the first time in his career.

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