LAS VEGAS – The second season of Dana White’s Contender Series kicked off tonight, and MMAjunkie was on the scene. The event took place at The Utlimate Fighter Gym and streamed live on UFC Fight Pass.
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In the opening seconds, the two men clashed in the center, and a Boatwright high kick turned out to be his undoing. Menifield pushed forward, and an off-balance Boatwright fell to the canvas. Menifield immediately jumped on top and punched away until referee Mark Smith called a halt to the contest just eight seconds after it began.
The effort was good enough to earn Menifield a UFC deal.
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Curtis was accurate early, reddening the nose of his opponent while picking his punches and moving around in the pocket. Lally tried to return fire, but he struggled to find his mark as Curtis moved well between attacks.
Curtis went back to work in the second, tucking his chin behind his lead shoulder and using a jab to set his range before bringing the left behind it, as well. Lally showed his grit, absorbing the blows and looking for a way to battle back, landing a few big right hands in the process. Curtis wore the damage well, shaking off every blow, but Lally certainly found his mark often in the latter stages of the frame.
Lally continued to press in the third, again finding the mark in the early going. But Curtis was quick to battle back, finding a home with the left hand and stopping his opponent in bis tracks. A hook kick landed clean shortly after, sending Lally to the canvas, and Curtis hopped on top with several big punches that ended the fight at the 1:37 mark of the third round.
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Greg Hardy. (UFC)
Hardy took the center to open the contest, but Lane had no issue pushing right back with a few punching barrages of his own. A Hardy eye poke caused a brief pause in the action, but they quickly went back to work, every move thrown with ill intentions. Hardy was the first to land clean, scoring with a devastating right hand that put his opponent to the floor. Lane popped immediately back to his feet, where he was leveled again by a left, halting the action just 57 seconds after it began.
Hardy earned a UFC deal with the result, though it’s a developmental contract and will not see him move directly to the octagon.
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DiSciullo was the more active fighter at the start, leaping forward with flying kicks and spinning attacks. Meanwhile, Jackson stayed more traditional in his approach but delivered crisp punches up the middle in reply. Jackson worked hard to cut off the cage, and it paid off when a series of straight punches landed flush and sent DiSciullo tumbling to the floor. Jackson jumped on top to finish, but DiSciullo worked his way back to a kneeling position, where he was tagged with an illegal elbow to the back of the head, leading to a timeout. Referee Herb Dean also deducted a point from Jackson, as well.
DiSciullo chopped the legs on the restart before launching a few more leaping kicks, as well. Another timeout came shortly after, when a Jackson knee landed to the groin. DiSciullo was clearly frustrated by the multiple fouls, but he carried on following a brief timeout.
The pace remained high in the second, with DiSciullo continuing to favor kicks on the feet. Jackson eventually slipped inside and to the back, taking the action briefly to the canvas but keeping himself in control from the back when they moved back to the feet. DiSciullo tried to switch inside, but Jackson was able to elevate and slam his opponent to the floor, landing in side control.
DiSciullo scrambled and rolled, looking to get off the floor, but Jackson punished him with punches while maintaining the dominant position until the bell.
DiSciullo came out looking to press the action in the third, but Jackson was there to answer in reply. Unfortunately, a Jackson eye poke during the ensuing exchange saw another timeout, and Dean deducted another point. DiSciullo came out energized on the restart, but Jackson landed a perfectly timed knee and a flurry of punches that saw DiSciullo cut open and slump to the floor. DiSciullo tried valiantly to battle back, but he was clearly hurt. Dean gave him every opportunity to recover, but when DiSciullo turned his back and grabbed his opponent’s glove, the fight was mercifully called off.
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Holland looked to push the pace early, darting forward and firing kicks to all levels as Santiago tried to stay out of range. A Santiago counter left seemed to draw his opponent’s attention, and Holland ended up shooting inside and trying to take the action to the floor. Santiago briefly looked for a guillotine choke, but the two moved quickly back to the feet.
Holland continued as the aggressor, with Santiago content to counter against his taller foe. Holland gained confidence as the round wore on, dropping his hands and smiling as he threw elbows and punches for a variety of angles. He also seemed to be talking to not only his cornermen, but his opponent’s, as well.
Holland continued with the creativity in the second, throwing a few spinning attacks to start and showing little regard for his opponent’s counter offerings. Santiago loaded up on every strike thrown but found only minimal success, and Holland verbally let him know he wasn’t landing clean. A leaping knee for Holland landed clean, and Santiago started bleeding under his left eye. Still, Holland remained patient in his attacks, picking his opponent apart from the outside.
Santiago finally landed clean with a big left early in the third, sending an off-balance Holland to the floor. Holland crawled right back up and stuck out his tongue, but Santiago tagged him again shortly after. Still, the offense didn’t last long, and Holland quickly recovered and started taunting again. Atfer a few well-placed slaps, Holland told his opponent he was giving him a little Nick Diaz and then went back to his volume striking.
Santiago did get a pair of late takedowns, but he couldn’t do anything with the position, and Holland cruised to a unanimous-decision win, 30-27 on all three cards.
Complete Dana White’s Contender Series 9 results include:
Alonzo Menifield def. Dashawn Boatwright via TKO (punches) – Round 1, 0:08
Chris Curtis def. Sean Lally TKO (kick, punches) – Round 3, 1:37
Greg Hardy def. Austen Lane via TKO (punches) – Round 1, 0:57
Montel Jackson def. Rico DiSciullo via TKO (strikes) – Round 3, 2:15
Kevin Holland def. Will Santiago via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
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Source: USA Today – MMA Junkie
Read the full article here: Dana White's Contender Series 9 results: Menifield UFC-bound, Hardy scores developmental deal