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.
“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.”