Dana White’s “Contender Series” rolls on tonight at 8 p.m. ET, hosting a fresh batch of 10 Ultimate Fighting Championships (UFC) hopefuls on ESPN+ and Fight Pass. They’re looking to join Omar Morales, Herbert Burns, and Andre Muniz, who claimed contracts last week with impressive finishes.
The Light Heavyweights take center stage this time around, as Swedish LFA veteran Herdem Alacabek (5-0) fights William Knight (4-0) in a clash of men who have have never seen the judges. Earlier in the evening, Welterweight Brok Weaver (13-4) gets a second opportunity after his opponent earlier in the season failed to pass his medical test and both men’s and women’s Bantamweight see a clash of prospects.
‘Contender Series’ Quick Results:
Herdem Alacabek vs. William Knight — Knight def. Alacabek by TKO (punches) at 4:34 of Round Three
Brok Weaver vs. Devin Smyth — Weaver def. Smyth by unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28 x2)
Shanna Young vs. Sarah Alpar — Alpar def. Young by submission (rear naked choke) at 2:55 of Round Two
Tony Gravely vs. Ray Rodriguez — Gravely def. Rodriguez by TKO (punches) at 2:16 of Round Three
Karl Reed vs. Julius Anglickas — Anglickas def. Reed by submission (rear naked choke) at 3:25 of Round Three
‘Contender Series’ Play-by-Play Results:
205 lbs.: Herdem Alacabek vs. William Knight
Round one: Trading jabs. Body kick and 1-2 from Alacabek. Knight takes him to the fence, eats hard shots inside. Alacabek reverses. One minute in. Knees from Alacabek. More knees to the body. Knight tries a jumping knee when they separate. Body kick from Alacabek. Hard combination lands on the fence. Two minutes in. More body shots. Alacabek hauls him up and dumps him into half guard. Elbows landing. Knight working to stand, Alacabek taking the back. Looks a little high. Two minutes to go.
Alacabek loses the RNC, maintains control. Both hooks in now and he flattens Knight out, dropping punches. One minute to go. Knight gets to his feet, scores a takedown of his own into guard. Alacabek spins for an armbar, can’t get it. Knight lands punches as Alacabek works his way up. Knight flying knee just misses. 10-9 Alacabek.
Round two: Alacabek counters a kick with a right hand, lands as Knight slips and returns to his feet. He puts Knight on the fence. Both land knees inside. One minute in. Trading body shots. Clinch uppercuts from Knight. Dirty boxing from both men. Alacabek landing more. Two minutes in. He changes levels, slams Knight into side control. Two minutes to go.
Knight gets to his knees and Alacabek looks for the back. Good punches by Alacabek as Knight stands. Suddenly, Knight hits his own takedown with a minute to go and takes mount, dropping punches. Alacabek regains half guard, Knight regains mount soon after. 10-9 Knight.
Round three: Knight lands an early jab and leg kick. Low kicks from Alacabek in return and he ties up. Knight finally lands the flying knee he’s been looking for and cracks him with punches, forcing him back. Alacabek gets his bearing and puts him on the fence again a minute in. They separate. 2-3 from Alacabek. Lead uppercut just misses. Knight shoots, stuffed, Alacabek looking for the neck. Knight gets him to his knees. Punches on the way up two minutes in. Alacabek makes it up, hits the body in the clinch. Left hook from Knight. Stiff jab met by an Alacabek leg kick. Knight with a well-timed takedown. Two minutes to go.
Alacabek stands, shoots, sprawled on. Knight cracking him with punches, drags him into side control. Elbow. One minute to go and he takes mount. Heavy right hands from Knight. The punches continue and Knight has the finish.
Final result: Knight def. Alacabek by TKO (punches)
170 lbs.: Brok Weaver vs. Devin Smyth
Round one: Smyth hits an immediate takedown, lands a right hand as Weaver stands and slams him down again. Half guard for Smyth, lands an elbow. Right hands connect. Weaver trying to stand a minute in. Smyth spins to the back and puts both hooks in, but is too high. Weaver hits him with a right hand as he slips out the back door. Knees from Weaver as Smyth puts him on the fence. Smyth with a knee of his own on the break. Weaver with a 1-2, Smyth shoots and hauls him to the fence again. Browne elbows from Weaver. Smyth separates and re-shoots. Two minutes to go.
Weaver still defending, manages to separate. Low kick from Weaver with a minute to go. Smyth lands a sneaky right hand and shoots again. Weaver continues to defend, tries to jump guard on a guillotine. 10-9 Smyth.
Round two: Smyth takes an immediate kick to the nuts. Weaver advances when they resume. Smyth fires a spinning elbow and shoots. Weaver defends, looks for his own takedown a minute in. Smyth blatantly grabs the fence to stay on his feet. Weaver moves to a rear waist lock. Hard shots inside, pressing Smyth against the fence. Knee from Smyth. Short elbow. Weaver separates with some big shots. Two minutes to go.
Right hook and clinch from Weaver, looking for a takedown again. Smyth reverses, looks for his own with a minute to go. Smyth lands on the way up. Weaver reverses on the fence. Good combinations on the break. Marching after Smyth, who catches a body kick. 10-9 Weaver.
Round three: Weaver marching forward, kicks at his legs. He fires a combo and Smyth puts him on the fence. Smyth looks for a takedown, lands an elbow when it’s denied and changes levels again a minute in. He completes the takedown. Weaver considers a guillotine, then returns to his feet. He gets double underhooks. Body punches from Weaver. Two minutes in. They separate and he lands a 3-2. Spinning elbow from Smyth, Weaver absorbs it and ties up. More nasty body punches, plus hooks upstairs. Weaver doing well with dirty boxing. Two minutes to go.
Knees from Weaver, elbow from Smyth on the break. Smyth shoots in once again. Good defense from Weaver. Smyth with a couple punches and changes levels again. Weaver reverses. More short hooks. Smyth fires elbows, tries to shoot and both land on the break. 10-9 Weaver.
Final result: Weaver def. Smyth by unanimous decision
135 lbs.: Shanna Young vs. Sarah Alpar
Round one: Both women swing early. Right hook from Alpar. Young gets dropped in an exchange and they swing heat. Alpar looks for a single-leg, looks for the back. One hook in. One minute in. Looking for the second, but about to fall off into guard. Young ends up on top in half guard. Two minutes in. Punches from Young. Alpar using the fence to stand. Young denying with a cradle. Alpar manages to stand with two mintues to go.
Young slips on a shot, stands back up and presses Alpar against the fence. Uppercut from Alpar, knee from Young. More knees with a minute to go. Young denies a shot, looks to set up a d’arce on the fence. Runs out of time. 10-9 Young.
Round two: Low kicks from Alpar in the early going. BIG right hook, Young wears it well. Counters land for Alpar. Straight lefts. One minute in. Young with a looping right in return. Alpar looks for a reactive takedown, drags her down into half guard. Young gives up her back, one hook in. Two minutes in. Alpar still looking for the choke and second hook. She gets both and there’s the tap.
Final result: Alpar def. Young by submission (rear naked choke)
135 lbs.: Tony Gravely vs. Ray Rodriguez
Round one: Rodriguez tries a high kick to start, blocks one in return. Some trading in the center. Both fire body kicks. Hard left hook catches Rodriguez mid-exchange and Gravely shoots. One minute in. Knees to the thigh from Gravely. Rodriguez exits with an elbow, lands a counter knee and eats a left hook from the advancing Gravely. Rodriguez answers a 1-2 with a 1-2-3 that buzzes Gravely, who takes him down into half guard. Elbows from Gravely. Rodriguez wraps up a guillotine and regains guard, only for Gravely to pop his head out and lands some punches. Two minutes to go.
Back to half guard goes Gravely. Threatening a guillotine. Rodriguez making a good effort to stand, does so with a minute to go. Elbow from Gravely on the break, left hook soon after. Gravely lands a lead right and hits a double-leg. Nice sweep from Rodriguez.
Round two: Rodriguez lands an early left hook, eats a head kick and has to fight off another takedown. Rodriguez surprises him with his own takedown a minute in and immediately takes the back. Gravely spins to his feet, gets a body lock, slams him into side control. Back to half guard two minutes in. Rodriguez regains guard for a second, eats punches. Two minutes to go.
Good elbow from Gravely. Right hands. He pulls Rodriguez’s hips out when he tries to stand. More punches. Now looking for the back. One minute to go. Both hooks in. He’s got it under the chin and goes palm-to-palm. Rodriguez wriggles out and regains half guard. More punches by Gravely. 10-9 Gravely.
Round three: Rodriguez charges out of the corner with a flying knee and gets floored by a left hook instead. Gravely takes half guard and looks for a front choke. Rodriguez hits a lovely sweep to the back and looks for the Suloev stretch as he slips off. No luck, back to half guard. Threatening a choke again. Rodriguez gives up the back and Gravely starts raining down punches. There’s the finish; great fight.
Final result: Gravely def. Rodriguez by TKO (punches)
205 lbs.: Karl Reed vs. Julius Anglickas
Round one: Reed opens with a high kick attempt. Straight right from Anglickas. Reed tries another high kick and shoots. One minute in. Anglickas still defending on the fence. He reverses position. Both throwing knees. Reed reverses, gets reversed two minutes in. Anglickas changes levels. Nothing so far. Now he runs the pipe and gets Reed down, looking for the back. Two minutes to go.
Reed stands, looks for an elbow on the break. Body kick lands for him, met by a straight right. Now a double-leg and he slams Anglickas down. Anglickas on his rear against the fence. One minute to go. Anglickas uses the fence to stand. Leg kick from Anglickas, then a hard combination before the bell. 10-9 Anglickas?
Round two: Low kicks from Anglickas. Reed fires a straight left and Anglickas wraps up a rear waist lock a minute in. He completes the takedown, lands right hands as Reed stands. Two minutes in. Reed takes a knee to the sensitive bits. After recovering, he fires a head kick and gets taken down by a blast double. Again he uses the fence to stand. Two minutes to go.
Anglickas lands some knee downstairs, but the ref wants more and separates them. Reed fires a couple of kicks and shoots, dumping him down into side control after a brief struggle. Anglickas works his way up, avoids a Marcelotine, and separates. Reed tries a shot, eats an elbow, right hand, and knee. Another right cross. 10-9 Anglickas.
Round three: Reed fires a cross counter, then an uppercut soon after. Some exchanging. Anglickas denies a level change. Left hook lands, then a right cross. Knees from the Thai clinch, big elbow. He grabs a body lock a minute in. Anglickas with some knees downstairs. Reed looks spent, dragged down two minutes in. Anglickas looking for the back as Reed works his way up. Anglickas takes him down again. Two minutes to go.
Anglickas wraps up a no-hooks RNC as Reed tries to stand and forces a tap.
Final result: Anglickas def. Reed by submission (rear naked choke)
For more “Contender Series” news, notes, and updates, including lists of those who receive contracts, be sure to hit up our comprehensive archive right here.