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Four Fighters Earn UFC Contracts from Dana White’s Tuesday Night Contender Series

In week 2 of the second season of Dana White’s Tuesday Night Contender Series, White handed four fighters UFC contracts for the first time in the show’s short history. Matt Sayles, Ryan Spann, Anthony Hernandez, and Dwight Grant all won their bouts and all received UFC contracts.

In a welterweight contest, Matt Sayles scored a first-round TKO over Yazan Hajeh. Sayles stunned Hajeh with a right hand early. After a brief scramble, Sayles dropped Hajeh with a combination and following Hajeh to the canvas. He quickly moved from side control to the mount position and unloaded with a series of punches until the referee intervened.

 

In middleweight action, Anthony Hernandez made quick work of previously unbeaten Jordan Wright. Hernandez landed early and kept the pressure on. He unleashed a flurry of strikes that staggered Wright to a knee. Hernandez didn’t let Wright off the hook and scored a quick 40-second knockout.

Light heavyweight Ryan Spann logged the fastest finish of the night taking out Emeliano Sordi by guillotine choke in just 26 seconds. Spann landed clean with a punch and knocked Sordi down in the opening moments of the fight. As Sordi worked to get back to his feet, Spann applied a guillotine choke that forced Sordi to quickly tap out.

Kicking off the night of fights, Dwight Grant set the tone for the event with a vicious second-round knockout over Tyler Hill. Hill took the fight to Grant but took damage doing so. A two-punch combination midway through the second frame ended the fight.

Dana White’s Tuesday Night Contender Series Week 2 Results:

  • Matt Sayles def. Yazan Hajeh by TKO (punches) at 1:57, R1
  • Anthony Hernandez def. Jordan Wright by KO (punches) at 0:40, R1
  • Austin Springer def. Giga Chikadze by submission (rear-naked choke) at 4:10, R3
  • Ryan Spann def. Emeliano Sordi by submission (guillotine choke) at 0:26, R1
  • Dwight Grant def. Tyler Hill by KO (punches) at 2:08, R2

Sage Northcutt and Zak Ottow Set to Clash at UFC Boise

Sage Northcutt vs Zak Ottow UFC Boise Fight Poster

Sage Northcutt returns to welterweight for a fight with Zak Ottow at UFC Fight Night 133. UFC officials announced the bout on Monday.

Northcutt (10-2) makes his return to welterweight despite having won his last two bouts, which were both at lightweight. Northcutt is 5-2 in the Octagon with each of his losses taking place in the 170-pound weight class, but he’s going to give it another go in Boise, Idaho.

He last set foot in the Octagon in February, when he earned a unanimous decision over Thibault Gouti.

Ottow (16-5) has alternated between wins and losses since first stepping into the Octagon in 2016. He is coming off of a victory over Mike Pyle at UFC 222 earlier this year. 

TRENDING > Colby Covington: Tyron Woodley Quit Training With Me Because He Couldn’t Keep Up

A heavyweight bout between former champion Junior Dos Santos and Blagoy Ivanov headlines UFC Fight Night 133 on July 14 in Boise.

Claudia Gadelha Headed to Surgery

Claudia Gadelha UFC 212 backstage interview

Claudia Gadelha is fresh off one of the biggest victories of her career, but it sounds as if it might be a while before she can capitalize on the win.

Gadelha earned a hard-fought split-decision victory over former UFC strawweight champion Carla Esparza at UFC 225 on June 9 in Chicago, but she won’t be able to book her next fight yet. Gadelha recently tweeted that she is going to have knee surgery sometime this week.

Gadelha, in a recent interview with MMAFighting, stated that she had injured her knee not in the fight with Esparza, but a couple of weeks before the fight. 

Claudia Gadelha ahead of UFC 225“I badly injured my knee, everyone at the UFC (Performance) Institute knows that because I was treated by the institute’s physiotherapist,” Gadelha said. “(The physiotherapist) was the only reason I didn’t pull out of the fight. She said ‘I’ll take care of you.’

”I kept visiting the physiotherapist during fight week to be able to fight. I felt the knee in the first round, could barely stand, and still beat Carla in her game, wrestling, so I think she’s just mad she couldn’t outwrestle me.”

TRENDING > Colby Covington: Tyron Woodley Quit Training With Me Because He Couldn’t Keep Up

Had it not been for a loss to Jessica Andrade in her most recent bout prior to Esparza, Gadelha would have been on a four-fight winning streak and possibly staring down a title shot in her next fight.

As it stands, she’ll have to take some time to recover and rehab her knee injury before UFC officials decide what is next for her.

Rorion Gracie, UFC Origins Biopic In the Works as Feature Film

A feature film is in the works that will detail the history of Rorion Gracie’s life and document the origins of the Ultimate Fighting Championship.

According to Deadline, “Gracie” will be produced through Mandalay Sports Media through a joint partnership with IMG with Robert Specland on board to write the script for the feature film.

IMG is part of the Endeavor group that owns the UFC.

The new biopic based on Gracie’s life will tell the story of how the UFC was created as part of Gracie’s vision to give traction to a new form of martial arts.

Gracie, who learned Brazilian jiu-jitsu from his legendary father Helio, began spreading the family’s form of martial arts through a series of ‘Gracie Challenges’. Those challenges where athletes from other disciplines would face off with a member of the Gracie family were set up primarily to prove that Brazilian jiu-jitsu was the dominant form of martial arts.

That eventually led to Gracie teaming up with pay-per-view promoter Art Davie on the formation of the Ultimate Fighting Championship, which saw fighters from every walk of life step into the cage to challenge each other in a no holds barred competition.

It was Rorion’s younger brother Royce, who ultimately became the family representative inside the cage and he went onto claim the championship in three of the first four UFC shows.

Gracie also got an early taste of Hollywood when he served as a fight coordinator on the classic 1987 movie “Lethal Weapon” where he helped choreograph the final fight scene between Mel Gibson and Gary Busey.

“Gracie is the latest film project to take shape under the MSM/IMG output deal. Considering the close relationship between the Endeavor Content Group, IMG and UFC, this immediately becomes a priority project for us,” producer Mike Tollin said about the project.

From the sound of things, “Gracie” will be fast tracked into production once work on the script is finished. The UFC is currently celebrating it’s 25th anniversary in 2018 after the first event took place back in 1993.

Dana White’s Tuesday Night Contender Fight Highlights: Greg Hardy and Alonzo Menifield Stand Out

Greg Hardy at Dana White's Tuesday Night Contender Series

(Courtesy of UFC)

Dana White’s Tuesday Night Contender Series returned for its second season with last week’s premiere. The inaugural season of the show produced a number of fighters that now dot the UFC roster, and Season 2 opened with a pair of fighters that also earned UFC contracts.

Though he’s currently known for his sordid past, Greg Hardy left a lasting Octagon in his professional debut, taking out fellow NFL veteran Austen Lane in just 57 seconds. Joining Hardy in earning a UFC contract was Alonzo Menifield, who needed just 8 seconds to finish Dashawn Boatwright in his second appearance on Dana White’s Tuesday Night Contender Series.

TRENDING > With Domestic Violence in His Past, Derrick Lewis is Not a Fan of Greg Hardy

The series plays out its second season over the course of seven weeks on UFC Fight Pass. Season 3 has already been announced as moving to ESPN+ as part of the UFC’s new media deal with the ESPN brand of networks and digital properties.

UFC Hall of Fame 2018 Induction Ceremony Details

Ronda Rousey - UFC Hall of Fame

The 2018 UFC Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony will take place on Thursday, July 5, at The Pearl at the Palms Casino Resort in Las Vegas. Tickets to the 2018 UFC Hall of Fame Induction ceremony are priced at $20.00 (does not include fees), with all proceeds benefitting Three Square Foodbank, southern Nevada’s largest hunger-relief organization. (Tickets to the 2018 UFC Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony are available via Ticketmaster.)

UFC Hall of Fame Shogun vs Henderson UFC 139The UFC Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony stands as one of the marquee events during the 7th annual UFC International Fight Week, which takes place from Tuesday, July 3 through Sunday, July 8.

The 2018 UFC Hall of Fame class of 2018 includes:

  • Ronda Rousey (Modern) – Former UFC and Strikeforce bantamweight champion and the first and only UFC women’s champion to successfully defended her title six times.
  • Bruce Connal (Contributor) – Pioneering television producer who led the production of more than 300 UFC televised events during his 19-year tenure with UFC.
  • Art Davie (Contributor) – UFC creator and co-founder who partnered with legendary Brazilian jiu-jitsu master Rorian Gracie on a project that would eventually be rebranded to the Ultimate Fighting Championship.
  • Matt Serra (Pioneer) – Former UFC welterweight champion and winner of Season four ofThe Ultimate Fighter.
  • Dan Henderson vs. Mauricio “Shogun” Rua (Fight) – Classic 2011 fight between former UFC light heavyweight champion Mauricio “Shogun” Rua and UFC 17 middleweight tournament champion and former Strikeforce light heavyweight champion Dan Henderson.

TRENDING > Relive Ronda Rousey’s Last UFC Win

To see a complete list of UFC athletes and fights currently enshrined in the UFC Hall of Fame, as well as details regarding the UFC Hall of Fame format, please visit UFCHOFFAQ.

Shogun vs. Henderson – UFC Hall of Fame 2018 – Fight Wing



(Courtesy of UFC)

Tyron Woodley Considers Colby Covington Among the Walking Dead

Tyron Woodley - UFC 209

On June 9, Colby Covington defeated Rafael dos Anjos in the UFC 225 co-main event to capture the interim welterweight title. The win ensured a showdown against champion Tyron Woodley later this year.

The two are former training partners at American Top Team and bitter rivals. Covington called out Woodley following his UFC 225 win and Woodley has responded via social media and during several podcast appearances.

Covington has a stifling style. He pressures his opponents until they wilt and it’s taken him to the top of the division. The only man standing in his way of becoming undisputed welterweight champ is Woodley, and Woodley believes Covington’s style plays right into his hand.

Colby Covington and Tyron Woodley“If their number one attribute is cardio, they’re up s–t creek because cardio is a controllable variable. You can’t control that I’m a better wrestler; I’m stronger than you. You can’t control that I punch a s–t-load harder than you. You can’t vouch for those things in a six-week training camp. In one year, you can’t change your punching power to be measurable to mine,” said Woodley during an appearance on the UFC Unfiltered podcast.

“His ground is terrible. When you think about all those attributes, I’ve said this before, put your chin on the treadmill. Show me how you can condition your chin to take a punch.”

Woodley has had success against pressure fighters in the past and believes he’ll have success against Covington when the two eventually meet inside the Octagon. 

“Fighters that press me like that have been the ones that get knocked out. Koscheck was one and got knocked out. Robbie (Lawler) is a pressure fighter. He got knocked out.  I’ve fought a guy like him before,” said Woodley. “These are people I call The Walking Dead. They know they have to get a takedown.”

TRENDING > Colby Covington: Tyron Woodley Quit Training With Me Because He Couldn’t Keep Up

Taking Woodley down has proven difficult for everyone that he’s faced.  He has a 97.6 takedown defense percentage.  It’s the best in UFC history. 

“It’s not like I just have the best takedown defense in the welterweight division. I have the best takedown defense in the history of the UFC. It’s kind of funny that his whole game plan is surrounded around taking me down.”

Woodley and Covington have yet to set a date to meet in the Octagon, but it is expected to happen later this year.

Matt Brown Headed Back Into Surgery to Repair Injured Ankle

Matt Brown is going back under the knife.

The veteran UFC welterweight contender revealed over the weekend that he was headed back into surgery to repair an injured ankle that will require eight weeks spent on crutches to prevent any further damage.

Brown later revealed when speaking to MMAWeekly that the injured ankle is on the same leg where he also tore his ACL that prevented him from fighting Carlos Condit earlier this year.

Brown already had surgery to repair the damaged ACL and he was on the road to recovery when this ankle injury was discovered.

A problematic ankle that has likely been plaguing him for the better part of three years may have played a part in the issues with his knee as his leg was likely compensating for the previous injury.

Brown says he hasn’t scheduled the surgery yet to repair his ankle but he’s  working on that right now.

The good news is Brown’s leg should come back even better than before thanks to advancements in surgery and recovery as he hopes to finally have full mobility with a repaired ankle and knee.

There’s no timeline yet on Brown’s return to action but it’s not likely the ankle will add that much more recovery time after he had the surgery on his ACL back in April. Typical recovery time for an ACL surgery ranges between 8 to 12 months. 

Darren Till Talks Controversial Weight Cut, Doubts Tyron Woodley Will Fight Any Time Soon

Darren Till - UFC LIverpool Open Workout

(Courtesy of MMAFightingonSBN)

Backstage at Brave 13, where he was cornering a teammate, UFC welterweight contender Darren Till discussed the controversial weight cut video that has been circulating following his victory over Stephen “Wonderboy” Thompson at UFC Liverpool, denying that it was anywhere near as dangerous as it may have looked to the uninitiated.

TRENDING > Rafael Dos Anjos Shocked by Darren Till Weight Cut, but Admits He Could Have Died Cutting Weight

Till actually discussed a number of topics, which MMAFighting captured on video, but chief among them was his thoughts on UFC welterweight champion Tyron Woodley and why he thinks Woodley might not be returning to the Octagon any time soon.

Bellator Free Fight: Alejandra Lara vs. Lena Ovchynnikova (FULL FIGHT VIDEO)

Bellator Free Fight Alejandra Lara vs Lena Ovchynnikova

(Courtesy of BellatorMMA)

Check out the full fight between Alejandra Lara and Lena Ovchynnikova from Bellator 190 in it’s entirety. Lara is next scheduled to step into the cage opposite Ilima-Lei Macfarlane to challenge for the Bellator flyweight title.

TRENDING > Nicco Montano Ready to Return, Wants Valentina Shevchenko at UFC 228