“The Magician” lived up to his nickname at tonight’s TUF 14 Finale, earning a quick first-round KO victory over TJ Dillashaw to win the bantamweight “TUF” crown.
The speed of Dodson was akin to him pulling a disappearing act during many of the exchanges, as Dillashaw found himself swinging at air early in the first round. When Dillashaw chose to fully commit to catching the speedy Dodson, he was met with a crushing counter left hook that sent him reeling to the canvas.
Dillashaw scrambled to his feet, but Dodson stayed on him, touching him with another left hand that dropped him right back to the mat. Dodson swarmed the dazed Dillashaw, punctuating his dominating performance with three hammerfists as the referee stepped in to stop the onslaught at 1:54 of the very first round.
Dodson was a controversial figure on this season of “The Ultimate Fighter” as a member of Team Miller. His close relationships with fighters from Team Bisping, and the fact that he often tipped off strategies and fight matchups, earned him a lot of boos from the crowd during the finale. Dodson proved unfazed from the criticism as he takes his place as the first bantamweight Ultimate Fighter.
“Words cannot describe how I feel right now,” he said as boos erupted from the crowd. “I don’t care if you guys love me or hate me. Just watch me.”
Love him or hate him, fans will surely watch him, but it will likely not be at bantamweight in the near future. Dodson is a natural flyweight, and should the UFC implement the 125 pound division soon, he will likely be an immediate top contender in the weight class.