In his first fight since losing a tight decision to champion Demetrious Johnson in January, "The Magician" scored a memorable first-round knockout, claiming victory over the debuting Montague at UFC 166 in Houston at 4:13.
"I love being back in the winner's circle," Dodson (14-7) said.
Dodson connected early and often with his left hand. He appeared to have the fight all but finished after dropping him with the left and swarming him on the ground.
The Chino, Calif. native recovered. But it was only a matter of time. Dodson caught Montague (14-7) flush on the jaw. Montague's legs wobbled, then he faceplanted on the mat.
Dodson said he learned from his experience fighting Johnson.
"I improved a lot," he said. "I came back with the killer instinct. I stayed patient and I stayed calm."
The Jackson's MMA fighter won for the fifth time in six fights; Montague had a four-fight win streak snapped.