Dana White’s “Tuesday Night Contender Series” returns tonight (Tues., June 18, 2019) at 8 p.m. ET, kicking off Season 3 of a show that has produced a heap of top-notch talent in recent years.
The main event pits one of Hawaii’s top young talents, Middleweight Punahele Soriano (5-0), against Season 1 competitor Jamie Pickett (9-3), who has won two straight since falling to Charles Byrd on the very first episode. Perhaps the most notable name, however, is The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) veteran Brendan Loughnane (16-3), who is 11-2 since his sole Octagon appearance with both losses coming by split decision. He faces Ring of Combat champion Bill Algeo (12-3), winner of four straight.
This was originally a five-fight card, but Leon Shahbazyan was ruled medically ineligible to compete before yesterday’s weigh-ins, leaving us with just four.
‘Contender Series’ Play-By-Play Results:
Punahele Soriano vs. Jamie Pickett —Soriano def. Pickett by unanimous decision (30-27 x2, 30-26)
Kali Robbins vs. Hannah Goldy — Goldy def. Robbins by unanimous decision (30-27 x2, 30-26)
Bill Algeo vs. Brendan Loughnane — Loughnane def. Algeo by unanimous decision (30-27 x3)
Yorgan De Castro vs. Alton Meeks — De Castro def. Meeks by TKO (leg kick and punches) at 4:45 of Round One
‘Contender Series’ Quick Results:
185 lbs.: Punahele Soriano vs. Jamie Pickett
Round one: Soriano tries a head kick to start. Low kick from Pickett. Lead right stings Soriano. Kick exchange. Soriano steps into the clinch a minute in. Teep lands for him. Pickett side kick, Soriano head kick attempt. Again. Pressuring with left hands. Pickett lands a right cross two minutes in. Soriano lands a couple of left hands and trips Pickett to the mat, looking for a head kick on the way up. Jab lands for Pickett, then to the body. Both swinging big. Soriano takes a finger in the eye with two minutes to go.
Pickett lands a Brazilian kick and Soriano starts hurling heat at him in return. He’s overextending with his left hand. Pickett fires straight rights. Head kick attempt. One minute to go. Overhand left and uppercut kick off a combo from Soriano. Pickett side kick. Soriano body kick and a 1-2 briefly drops Pickett. counter left and Soriano’s throwing huge bombs. Pickett retreats, eats more left hands. 10-9 Soriano.
Round two: Soriano still marching after him. Pickett to the body, lands a southpaw 1-2. One minute in. Pickett landing at range. Soriano lands a long left cross. Two minutes in. Head kick attempt. Pickett’s still landing his jab. Soriano pursues, lands a combo on the fence. Two minutes to go.
Soriano hits a takedown against the fence. Pickett gets to a knee, then stands. Soriano to the body with a minute to go. Big counter left knocks Pickett off-balance. Soriano shoots again, drags Pickett to the mat. Sets up in half guard. 10-9 Soriano.
Round three: Superman punch from Pickett. Soriano ducks a right hand four a double-leg in center cage. One minute in. Really not much from the top besides half guard control for Soriano. Pickett looking for a kimura two minutes in, loses it but rolls to his knees. Soriano retakes half guard. Two minutes to go.
Soriano with a couple of halfhearted elbows. Short lefts with a minute to go. Some more minor ground and pound. 10-9 Soriano.
Final result: Soriano def. Pickett by unanimous decision
115 lbs.: Kali Robbins vs. Hannah Goldy
Round one: Goldy sending out low kicks to start. Robbins marching after her, lands a hard right hand and ties up. Knee from Goldy. One minute in. She lands a right hand on the break. More low kicks from Goldy on the retreat, mixing in body and head kicks. Two minutes in. Robbins continues to pursue, struggling to get past the lead leg. Counter right by Goldy, check hook. More counters, body kick. Knee in the clinch as Robbins takes her to the fence. Two minutes to go.
Goldy tries a head kick on the break. They trade on the fence before Robbins hits an outside trip. One minute to go. Robbins gets a hook in, but Goldy stands and separates. Robbins hurling overhand rights. 10-9 Goldy.
Round two: Goldy again utilizing lead leg kicks to keep Robbins away. Rear leg body kick this time. Leg kick a minute in. Robbins trying to reach with punches. Goldy lands a knee in the clinch. Robbins with some leg kicks. Hard right cross connects for Goldy, Robbins tries to spin in return. Two minutes in. 1-2-3 from Robbins, Goldy lands a knee in the clinch before the former shoots. Goldy exits with a stiff left. Two minutes to go.
More lead-leg kicks. Left hook connects. Robbins tries to tie up, eats knees and a head kick. More knees and a hard elbow, Robbins comes back with a right hand on the break. One minute to go. More knees to the head from Goldy when Robbins ties up, but Robbins uses a rolling kneebar attempt to take top position. Robbins commits to the kneebar with 10 seconds left, runs out of time. 10-9 Goldy.
Round three: Goldy continues to control distance with her lead leg. Robbins lands right hands to the head and body, just blocks a head kick in return. They trade in the center. Robbins lead right a minute in. Goldy answers a clinch attempt with a knee. Robbins answers a low kick with a right hand soon after. Goldy’s kicks continue to land as she retreats. Two minutes in. Couple of rights from Goldy. Robbins wades into the clinch, eats a left hook on the break. Another clinch. Two minutes to go.
Goldy tries a head kick when they separate. Side kicks. Low kicks to 1-2. Goldy denies a clinch with a knee. One minute to go. Counter punches, sharp right cross. Punch combo into a head kick that lands. Again. Goldy looking for the finish, lands a right hand and knees. Robbins tries another rolling kneebar as Goldy tries to ground-and-pound her before the bell. Runs out of time. 10-9 Goldy.
Final result: Goldy def. Robbins by unanimous decision
145 lbs.: Bill Algeo vs. Brendan Loughnane
Round one: Loughnane opens with leg kicks, Algeo with straight punches. Counter right and leg kick from Loughnane, Algeo puts him on the fence. Loughnane separates, lands a leg kick to the opposite leg and a right cross. Another leg kick met by a right from Algeo, then a little trip from Loughnane a minute in. Leg kick exchange. Counter right lands for Loughnane, Algeo connects to counter the next leg kicks. Algeo forces him to the fence, lands knees downstairs. Two minutes in. Loughnane reverses position. He tries a trip on the break. Spinning back kick lands for him, met by a left hook. Loughnane ties up on the fence. Two minutes to go.
Algeo exits with an elbow, eats a leg kick and counter right. Algeo claims an eye poke. When they resume, Loughnane tries a spinning back fist and briefly threatens a guillotine. Hard right hook. Algeo with a front kick. Counter 1-2-1 lands for Loughnane, then another leg kick. Loughnane ties up, spins on the exit. 10-9 Loughnane.
Round two: They start exchanging in the center. Algeo lands well, adds some leg kicks. He lands a 1-1-2, counter right comes back at him. Algeo lands a knee inside, tries a throw, hauled to the fence. They separate. One minute in. Low kick and some good punches from Algeo. Loughnane leg kick, Algeo answers in kind. Algeo having more success this round. Algeo with a knee, answered by a punching combo. Loughnane answers a near-miss knee with a combo and ties up on the fence. 1-2 from Loughnane. Straight right. Inside low kick lands for Algeo. Two minutes to go.
Algeo exits the clinch with a looping right, takes a pair of crosses in return. Algeo leg kick. Jab connects. Good trade in the center. Algeo front kick to the body. Snap kick. One minute to go. Good jabs, lead right. Loughnane lands a nice double-leg, can’t keep him down. Second attempt, then he jumps onto Algeo’s back. Algeo gets to his feet. 10-9 Algeo.
Round three: Loughnane looks to retake the back against the fence, lands a knee. They separate. 1-2-1 by Loughnane, body kick. Clean 1-2 stings Algeo. Loughnane landing his jab. Double-leg from Algeo, Loughnane denies it but eats a knee. Two hard elbows from Algeo before Loughnane reverses and separates. Trading jabs two minutes in. Heavy rights piling up for Loughnane. More stiff jabs, leg kick. Algeo still swinging back. Another heavy 1-2 by Loughnane. Again. Leg kick. Two minutes to go.
Another 1-2. Loughnane continues to land. Loughnane nearly takes the back in center cage, allows Algeo up. One minute to go. Loughnane hurling heat, staggers Algeo with a leg kick. Leg kick by Algeo. Loughnane tries a head kick. Loughnane ends with a double-leg. 10-8 Loughnane.
Final result: Loughnane def. Algeo by unanimous decision
265 lbs.: Yorgan De Castro vs. Alton Meeks
Round one: Meeks slowly advancing. De Castro lands a well-timed flying knee as Meeks shoots in, but Meeks powers through it to get in on his hips. Couple of Browne elbows from De Castro, who gets dragged to the mat. De Castro rises, fights off a takedown in center cage, taken to another section of fence. Meeks keeps driving, again brings De Castro down. Two minutes in. De Castro uses the fence to stand, exits with an elbow. Leg kick lands for him, then a right hand that prompts Meeks to take him to the fence again. De Castro knee, Meeks elbow on the break with two minutes to go.
Leg kick from De Castro, then a 3-2 and he sprawls on a shot. Another counter jumping knee. Lead right blocked. One minute to go. Meeks lands a nice lead right in return. Huge leg kick floors Meeks and De Castro puts him away with hammerfists. Gigantic upset to kick off the season.
Final result: De Castro def. Meeks by TKO (leg kick and punches)
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