John Dodson runs circles around TJ Dillashaw, takes ‘The Ultimate Fighter’ bantamweight crown


LAS VEGAS - John Dodson has too much energy to be contained in a cage.

After he knocked T.J. Dillashaw silly, Dodson backflipped off the Octagon, then danced and bounced off the walls.

The tiny bantamweight proved sized doesn't matter when countered with speed and technique at Saturday night's bantamweight finale of "The Ultimate Fighter." Dodson was impossible to hit over the first 90 seconds of the fight and when he drilled Dillashaw with a left to the side of the head he went into hyper-speed to get the finish at the 1:54 mark of the first.

The 5-foot-3 Dodson is the first 135-pound champ in the history of the "The Ultimate Fighter," which rolled out its first season featuring the little guys at bantamweight and featherweight. Dodson was already widely recognized as one of the best 125ers in the world, but he took a gamble in trying out for the field of bigger guys, and came out a huge winner.

"Words cannot describe how I feel right now. Thank you everybody," Dodson told UFC analyst Joe Rogan as much of the Las Vegas crowd at the Palms booed. "I don't care if you hate me, just watch me."

Dodson emerged from the show as one of the big heels. He talked plenty of trash and even worse, a member of Team "Mayhem" Miller, he served as a spy for Team Michael Bisping.

Dillashaw, who trains out of Urijah Faber's Team Alpha Male in California, was a big favorite before the season started. There are some who believe he's just a tick behind veterans like Faber and another teammate Joe Benavidez, who are both ranked in the top six at bantamweight.{ysp:more}

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Dillashaw, a former elite college wrestler, came out in a low stance and tried to establish range with his jab. He looked incredibly slow against the lightning quick Dodson. Dillashaw threw a lazy shot when he got crushed by left punch/arm to the side of his head. He was stunned and stumbled for a second. That's all it took for Dodson to land a short left and drop him.

Dodson flew on top of him and got off three more hammerfists before ref Herb Dean jumped in to save Dillashaw. Dillashaw was going for a leg to try and get the fight under control when Dean stopped it. It may have been a little early to halt the action, but when Dillashaw rose to his feet he wobbled back to the cage.

Update: Dodson scored the Knockout of the Night bonus good for $40,000.

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