Two fighters earned UFC contracts at the first episode of Dana White’s Tuesday Night Contender Series with Kurt Holobaugh and Boston Salmon both walking away with the honors. DWTNCS 1 took place July 11th at the UFC Training Center in Las Vegas, NV with the entire show webcast at UFC Fight Pass.
The series awards UFC contracts but is not the UFC itself or the Ultimate Fighter. The fighters are drawn from both top independent shows like Titan FC and CES MMA as well as from the regional shows that hosted Dana White’s previous series Looking for a Fight. So far episodes have been announced for July 18th, July 25th, and August 1st which each expected to be the same format. What is unknown is if there will continue to be two options for commentary with the track containing Urijah Faber and rapper Snoop Dogg being rather atrocious.
In the main event Titan FC interim lightweight champion Kurt Holobaugh earned his return to the UFC with a first-round KO of CES MMA featherweight champion Matt Bessette. Holobaugh had more power in his punches and landed more combinations until he drove Bessette to the fence where a right hook stunned Bessette and another knocked him to the ground earning the TKO. Holobaugh now stands 18-4 with four wins in a row at lightweight.
In the other bout that earned a UFC contract Boston Salmon defeated a more reckless Ricky Turcios by unanimous decision. Salmon’s patience paid off as he used his straight left and right hooks to score while defending the takedowns of Turcios. Salmon’s unanimous decision rebounds the RFA vet from his first professional loss as his record climbed to 6-1, Turcios’ first loss left the Bellator vet 8-1.
- Joby Sanchez def. Manny Vazquez by unanimous decision
- Charles Byrd def. Jamie Pickett 4:55 R1 by arm-triangle choke
- Boston Salmon def. Ricky Turcios by unanimous decision
- Azunna Anyanwu def. Greg Rebello 3:04 R2 by KO
- Kurt Holobaugh def. Matt Bessette 2:59 R1 by KO