DWCS 24 results: Three contracts awarded, one developmental deal issued

LAS VEGAS – Dana White’s Contender Series returned Tuesday night, and MMA Junkie was onsite to provide full coverage.

Check out below for recaps of the five fights of DWCS 24, which saw three fighters earn UFC contracts –Brok Weaver, Sarah Alpar and Tony Gravely – and a developmental deal for William Knight.

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In a battle of undefeated light heavyweights, it was William Knight (5-0) who was able to dig deep and score a comeback stoppage over a dangerous Herdem Alacabek (5-1).

The bout served as the featured contest of Tuesday’s Dana White’s Contender Series 24 event from the UFC Apex in Las Vegas.

Alacabek worked to the center to start, and he landed a kick to the body and a few straight punches that saw Knight retaliate with a takedown attempt. Alacabek defended it well, and he fired off punches in tight as he defended against the fence. The two then moved to the center, but Knight maintained the clinch, and Alacabek capitalized with big knees to the body. Knight finally pulled away to reset, but it was clearly Alacabek who was getting the best of the exchanges on the feet, patiently picking his punches and then eventually grabbing Knight, lifting him up and tossing him to the floor.

Knight refused to stay on his back, and he worked himself to the feet, but Alacabek was able to slip around to the back, where he began hunting for the choke. Knight did his best to post and shake his opponent off the back, but Alacabek continued to adjust his position and stay in place.

Knight finally escaped in the final minute, and he earned a takedown of his own, but he couldn’t keep the fight there, and they traded shots until the bell.

Alacabek caught a kick at the start of the second and tripped Knight to the floor, then punching him as he scrambled back to the feet. The action moved to the clinch, and the pair traded punches and knees in tight. Alacabek eventually changed levels, wrapping the body and elevating Knight before slamming him to the canvas and landing in side control.

Knight eventually turned to his knees, looking to get back to his feet, but Alacabek followed, punching as they stood and then wrapping the body from the back. Knight showed some real heart, reversing the momentum and tripping Alacabek to the floor and settling into mount. He tried to capitalize with the position in the final seconds but ran out of time before he could do any real damage.

Knight kicked the legs to start the third, but Alacabek walked forward and took the center, pressing the action to the cage. Knight responded with a leaping knee that landed, forcing Alacabek to back away and recover. He did clear the cobwebs, and the two started trading pujnches inside. Knight changed levels with beautiful timing, and though Alacabek initially snuffed it out, Knight continued to work the position and was able to get the fight to the floor. He couldn’t keep it there, though, and the pair returned to the feet.

It was clear both men were tired, but after trading punches, it was Knight who again surprised with a takedown. Knight continued to battle up, but Knight took him to the floor once again and was able to move to side control. After driving in a few elbows, Knight stepped over to mount and looked to line up the biggest punches he could score. Big right hands found the mark, and with time winding down, Knight punched and punched until referee Jason Herzog finally waved off the contest with just 26 seconds remaining.

UFC president Dana White admitted he was impressed with the performance but chose to offer a developmental deal for the fighter, who is just one year into his pro career, rather than a full UFC deal.

****

In a welterweight thriller, Brok Weaver (14-4) was entertaining from start to finish, outpoint respected prospect Devin Smyth (9-2) in a high-paced affair.

Smyth opened the contest with a kick to the body and a big takedown, though Weaver refused to stay there. It was no matter to Smyth, who picked him up and slammed him to the canvas, taking top position and looking to strike. Weaver showed his durability, escaping to the feet and looking to strike. Smyth tried to keep the action tight, but he eventually backed away to reset. He didn’t stay there, though, immediately driving forward and again driving the action to the canvas.

Weaver defended well against the cage, looking to drive in elbows as he sprawled. Smyth eventually backed away again, and while Weaver hoped to strike, he wasn’t give room for long. Still, Smyth couldn’t get the fight to the floor – though the round did end there when Weaver dropped for a guillotine attempt that failed in the closing seconds.

The second start with an inadvertent low kick from Weaver, leading to brief pause. On the restart a few strikes were exchanged before Smyth again changed levels. Weaver defended perfectly and then slipped around to the back and began looking for a takedown. Smyth was warned for grabbing the cage, but the action did stay upright. This time, though, it was Weaver in control from the outside.

As the round unfolded, Weaver finally found a little room to strike, though he also initiated the clinch after his flurries. It remained a grinding affair, but Weaver was certainly getting the best of it.

Weaver took the center to start the third, and he struck his way into a clinch. Smyth defended well against the fence, turning off the cage and then changing levels and dragging Weaver to the floor. Weaver worked from a seated position, briefly trying to grab the neck before turning his attention to standing. Once on his feet, he was able to turn to the outside, again looking to strike.

Weaver found his best success when he looked to strike, but he insisted on wrapping his opponent’s body. That allowed what looked to be an overmatched Smyth to at least look for takedowns, getting Weaver to a knee in the final minute and controlling from the outside. Weaver turned off the fence one more time, and he punched the body from in tight. Both men grinded until the end, but it was Weaver who walked away with the decision win, 30-27, 29-28 and 29-28, as well as a UFC contract.

****

In a women’s bantamweight contest Sarah Alpar (9-4) scored an upset submission win over Shanna Young (6-2).

Young opened by looking to strike on the outside, but Alpar had no issue standing firm in the pocket and firing back. She found the target on a flurry and then drove forward to score a takedown, scrambling around to the back as the fight hit the floor but then slipping off and landing on her back. With Young in top position, Alpar looked briefly for the armbar, but she wasn’t able to secure the limb. Young tried to attack from the top, but Alpar was able to scramble up to her feet, and they separated back to the center.

Young pushed forward on the restart, briefly losing her footing but scrambling back to the feet, where they traded strikes in the clinch. Young landed a few knees inside, and Alpar tried to drop down for another takedown. Young snuffed it out and tried to lock in a D’Arce choke, but the round ended before she could lock it in.

Alpar opened with a few low kicks to start the second, but she also landed clean with a big right hand. Young started to find her range as the round wore on, but Alpar sensed it and again looked for the takedown, bringing it to the floor after a brief struggle. Young remained calm as she work but exposed her back, and Alpar happily took hold. From there, she worked the arm under the neck and was able to roll her opponent and squeeze, earning the submission from a frustrated Young at the 2:55 mark of the round.

With the result, Alpar scored a UFC deal, though White said he would like for her to drop to 125 pounds.

****

In bantamweight action, Tony Gravely (19-5) turned in a phenomenal performance against a gritty Ray Rodriguez (15-6) before securing a third-round finish.

The action started quickly, with both men willing to engage from the start and rattling off punches and kicks. Gravely landed a sneaky left inside, clearly stunning Rodriguez, who retreated to the clinch to try and recover. Gravely continued to press forward, and Rodriguez flashed quick hands in landing a big shot, and Gravely immediately shot for the takedown, taking the fight to the floor.

Gravely maintained top position and delivered punishment from the top. Rodriguez tried to reach up and threaten the neck, but Gravely popped his head out with relative ease and continued the attack from the top. Gravely briefly tried for a guillotine from the top, but Rodriguez pulled away and scrambled up to his feet in the final minute. Once back on the feet, Rodriguez looked to strike, but Gravely again dove in for the takedown, taking the action to the canvas. Rodriguez landed a nice sweep late, but there was no time to capitalize.

Gravely came out swinging to start, landing a few crisp shots before again closing the distance. Rodriguez defended well against the fence and actually scored a slick little trip to seize the momentum, switching around to the back almost immediately. Gravely, however, was up to the challenge, turning inside and scrambling to the feet before lifting his opponent in the air and slamming him to the canvas.

Rodriguez was active on his back, but Gravely was able to maintain the dominant spot, posturing and striking when the opportunity presented itself. Rodriguez continued to work, scrambling up to a kneeling position, but Gravely was able to adjust and against sneak to the back. A rear-naked choke followed, but Rodriguez was able to squirm free after a few tense moments. Still, it was Gravely who finished the round on top.

Rodriguez came flying out of the corner in the third, but he missed and slipped to the floor. Gravely followed, but Rodriguez flashed a slick escape and slipped around to the back. Gravely patiently worked free, posting forward and slipping away before securing his position on the back. With firm control in back mount, Gravely fired away with punches, and a turtling Rodriguez wasn’t able to escape before referee Mark Smith waved off the contest at the 2:16 mark of the frame, earning Gravely a UFC deal.

****

In the night’s first contest, light heavyweight Julius Anglickas (7-1) started a bit slowly but ending up picking up a stoppage win over Karl Reed (6-2).

Reed wasted little time at the start if the fight, rushing forward and firing a high kick. He continued to switch stances as he looked to attack, eventually driving forward and pressing the action to the fence while looking for a takedown. Anglickas defended well, eventually switching off the fence and controlling from the outside. The position proved to be a bit of a stalemate, but the two continued to grind for position in the clinch, and Anglickas finally got the fight to the floor with two minutes remaining.

Despite having his back exposed, Reed was able to crawl quickly back to his feet and separate, briefly firing a few high kicks before driving forward again. This time, he was able to wrap the body, lifting and slamming Anglickas to the floor. Reed briefly controlled the position, but Anglickas was able to get back to his feet in the final minute, where he let his hands go just before the bell.

Reed continued to favor the kicks to open the second, while Anglickas mixed up his attacks as he moved about the cage. Reed did score with a nice left hand, but Anglickas turned quickly to the takedown, bringing the fight briefly to the floor, though he couldn’t keep it there. An inadvertent groin strike earned Reed a brief timeout, but Anglickas shot forward again on the restart, getting the fight to the floor but not keeping it there. Eventually, the two were brought back to the center by referee Jason Herzog.

On the restart, it was Reed who initiated the takedown, and this time he was able to get the action to the canvas and take top position. Anglickas moved quickly to his knees and then his feet, pulling his head free from a wrenching guillotine before the two men traded strikes in the closing seconds.

Anglickas took the center to start the third. Reed continued to look for the takedown, but it was clear he was winded. Anglickas pressed forward and was able to grab a Thai clinch, where he drove in a few big knees. Anglickas was the fresher man, but it was apparent he was also fatiguing as the round wore on. Anglickas kept the pressure high and took the fight to the floor, and he landed a few punches inside, but he didn’t pack much pop, with both men clearly exhausted.

Anglickas continued to hunt the finish, and he was able finally sneak the arm around the neck of his kneeling opponent and earn the submission finish.

Dana White’s Contender Series 24 results include:

  • William Knight def. Herdem Alacabek via TKO (punches) – Round 3, 4:34
  • Brok Weaver def. Devin Smyth via unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28)
  • Sarah Alpar def. Shanna Young via submission (rear-naked choke) – Round 2, 2:55
  • Tony Gravely def. Ray Rodriguez via TKO (punches) – Round 3, 2:16
  • Julius Anglickas def. Karl Reed via submission (rear-naked choke) – Round 3, 3:25

Source: USA Today – MMA Junkie

Read the full article here: DWCS 24 results: Three contracts awarded, one developmental deal issued