TUF 14 Finale Results: John Dodson Crowned Bantamweight Winner

December 3, 2011
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There was a bitter grudge between John Dodson and T.J. Dillashaw heading into the ‘Ultimate Fighter’ finale, and Dodson certainly did his part to settle it.

As season 14 of the reality show started, Dodson was one of the odds on favorites to make it to the finale after a very successful career outside the Octagon where he faced a slew of talented fighters.

Still, Team Alpha Male’s T.J. Dillashaw had all the raw talent and hype surrounding him that made the former college wrestler a heavy favorite going into the final fight for the debut season in the bantamweight division.

Despite Dillashaw’s grappling pedigree, he opted for a stand-up fight with the wild and speedy Dodson as soon as the opening bell sounded.

The strategy backfired in a hurry when Dodson’s lighting fast movements saw him pop his former rival from the reality show early in the fight.

Still Dillashaw moved forward looking for strikes, and Dodson saw the opening he needed to uncork a perfectly placed counter left that drilled the former Team Bisping fighter right behind the ear.

Dillashaw’s legs buckled and Dodson followed up with another big shot. As Dillashaw wobbled to the floor, Dodson went right after him with a few more shots before referee Herb Dean came through for the stoppage.

Some in the arena believed the fight was stopped too early, but replays showed Dillashaw rising from the canvas with Jello legs underneath him.

A top ranked flyweight before the ‘Ultimate Fighter’ ever started, Dodson is now the TUF 14 bantamweight champion after defeating T.J. Dillashaw by TKO in the first round.

“Words cannot describe how I feel right now,” Dodson said after the win.

Always a smile on his face, Dodson flipped around the cage like he was starring in a new sequel to ‘The Matrix’ and you may never see a fighter any happier to win the ‘Ultimate Fighter’ crown.

“Did I just end it that quick? I wanted to celebrate this a little bit longer, you guys have no idea how long I waited to be here,” said Dodson. “Thank everybody who’s booing me, cheering me, thank you guys. I don’t care if you guys hate me, just watch me.”

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  • shereko

    Is it just me, but that little hyper guy is just friggin annoying!!

  • Iamrozylo

    If Edgar vs Maynard 1 or 2 was ref’d like this may are would be champion twice over. I’m really tired of early stoppages. Non taken from Dodson though. He’s great fighter.

  • decolonize

    Knowing Dodson’s a striking skills and the fact he trains with Jackson, I would have expected Dillashaw to not try going head-up so aggressively. When he got rocked early, I figured ‘TJ is going to need to change his tactic, because there’s an example of playing on Dodson’s court.’ He ended up paying for that decision.

    Maybe there was some emotion involved from the buildup or he was just nervous or excited. No idea, but I suspect Herb ending it when he did, even for those who thought it early, was only inevitable. Dillashaw was fighting hurt from the early knockdown when Dodson floored him the second time, and getting laid out only to grab Dodson’s leg doesn’t equal intelligently defending oneself. Dillashaw wasn’t likely to get out of the first round, and Dean (who’s responsible for protecting fighters from serious injury) intervened for what was likely at best going to be no more than Dillashaw staggering up and eating a much more devastating shot. Dodson’s no joke with his hands (as we saw with Bedford), he already smelled blood, and TJ was out on his feet. People were booing, but a call was in TJ’s best interests at that point.

    Also, it needs to be said Herb Dean is one of the best in the business. He’s called countless title fights, main events and big-money throwdowns. And though he’s made some mistakes over the years, I don’t think there’s a fighter around who doesn’t name Herb among the top-three refs out there. And anyone being honest and without Herb Dean’s experience could see TJ looked completely overwhelmed. TJ will learn a lot from this experience and come back a better fighter.

  • bluemma

    I thought Dodson done the job, looked sharp and quick and will cause problems for anyone! Herb Dean might have jumped in a little too soon but TJ was still on wobbly legs even when he got up so hard to argue with the best ref out there! I’m sure all the finalists will have a future in the UFC!

  • MikeMc1983

    I’ve never understood the herb dean fans. Unless its the group that would rather have 20 fights stopped too early than one fight too late. My friends and I refer to him as early stop herb. (I know, not to original.)
    We actually get surprized by him sometimes. Sometimes he let’s guys go, but it is about a 20-1 ratio. I still prefer John. I think most fighters would. Hopefully he’ll eventually get let back into Nevada.
    I don’t want guys getting hurt either. I don’t get pissed at early stops, but sometimes I feel bad for the guys. But look what herb has done. He has got posters here, and even joe rogan lowering the bar on stoppages to a guy “having wobbly legs.”. I missed the memo when wobbly legs meant a fight should be stooped. If herb was consistent, and he refed the next fight, we’d have a different featherweight tuf winner.
    By the way, I don’t think herb was actually happy with his stop. He was in a bad position, and touched the fighter. As soon as he did he looked back at tj with a sad/guilty look on his face. (it) happens. It will happen again. It’s just part of the sport.

    • mark-31

      I agree with you Mike. Herb Dean is a very poor referee. I understand when a ref messes up a fight once in a while, but now it seems like Herb ruins a fight every other show or so. These fighters’ livelihood is on the line when they fight. He has no right to rob them so consistently.

      I don’t want to see guys get hurt, but Herb is a joke. It is a fight after all. Guys will get dropped, wobbled, stunned…. but it doesn’t mean they are out! It is no surprise that some fighters actually went after Herb on a few occasions.