John Dodson's wallet gave him reason to smile this week on TUF 14. | Photo: Dave Mandel
“The Ultimate Fighter” Season 14 bantamweight John Dodson (www.twitter.com/JohnDodsonMMA) will blog for Sherdog.com all season long, giving his thoughts, reactions and behind-the-scenes insights on the show. “The Ultimate Fighter 14” airs Wednesdays on Spike, 9 p.m. ET/PT.
This week’s episode was the first bantamweight semifinal fight to see who is going to the finale on Dec. 3, with a battle between Dustin Pague and T.J. Dillashaw.
Dustin is one of those good guys that loves to fight just because; there's no reason for him to fight he just likes it. Going to the gym, we would see a less fortune man on the streets every single day, asking for something, anything, to help him get through the day. One day, Dustin made a goody bag for this guy and had nothing but good intentions. Not that many people would ever think about giving a guy like this anything but a hard time. Out of the kindness of his heart, he really wanted to help people and see them do well in life.
So, on one side we have a guy that will go out of his way to help the world, and on the other side we have a guy that thinks he is the entire world and only cares about himself. The draft dodger T.J. was busy making sure that he gets his goal no matter what. He doesn't care about who he throws under the bus, he is just looking out for himself.
Mayhem came to the house and threw out a challenge to Dustin, “Fear Factor” style, by seeing if he would be willing to eat bugs for money. Mayhem went on the hunt to see what bugs that he can find. Dustin was given $60 for the three bugs that he was going to eat. People will do anything for money these days. Coach Kush, the wrestling coach that Mayhem brought, drank the jacuzzi water for a $100. That was the one challenge that wasn't seen on TV.
Seeing Dustin and Kush crushing the challenge that he gave them, it was Mayhem’s turn to see if he could crush Bisping in the coaches’ challenge. The coaches’ challenge was air hockey. This is a kids' game, so I figured that we had it in the bag since Mayhem is a giant kid. Man, how wrong I was!
Bisping looked like a real pro at this. I was getting upset, and realized I should probably help out and give some advice. Fortunately, Caraway jumped in the mix. He was really trying to give Mayhem the best help he could; Mayhem actually started making a comeback and for a while, things were looking up. But, in the last game, Bisping won it, and topped it off with a victory dance on top of the air hockey table. When he jumped off, I was so glad that he busted his ass. Our team didn't win the money, but I was happy to see that.
I didn't walk away empty-handed, though. Louis and I had a side bet, a handicap if you will. We made a deal so that no matter what happened, we'd both get some money out of it. If Mayhem would’ve won I would’ve kept $1000 and given Louis $500. Since I didn't though, Louis kept $1000 and I got $500. Nice doing business with you. Other people in the house did the same thing that we did, but not everyone. Sorry to all the guys that didn't want to play it safe; y'all gambled and busted.
The first round with Dustin and T.J. was both guys feeling each other out and seeing who was going to make the first move. T.J. got a takedown, and as usual, this was the story. He controlled Dustin on the ground and he couldn't get up. Dustin went after one submission after another but couldn't get the strength to get back to his feet.
In round two, Dustin let his hands go a little more, but it was basically the same thing as round one. T.J. got him down, kept control of Dustin. Round three, still the same story: Dustin got taken down again and T.J. just controlled him. He stayed active enough just to keep the ref from standing them up. Nothing really impressive about this win; it's a wrestler just doing what they always do, lay and pray.
The draft dodger is the first bantamweight in the finale. Taking the easy road to the finale got him there. But, he’ll have to face me or Johnny Bedford. The real question a fighter would really want that loss on their record when they could’ve been beat in the house and kept your prefect record intact.
So, me or Bedford? Start placing your bets now.