SATURDAY NEWS DIGEST 4/13: Dana White’s Tuesday Night Contender series announced for UFC Fight Pass,

By Cole Henry, MMATorch contributor

Dana White (photo credit Gary Vazquez © USA Today Sports)

UFC announces new Fight Pass Show

Today the UFC announced a new show hosted by Dana White which features a series of fights between up-and-coming fighters looking to prove that they belong amongst the sports best, as well as fights between veterans trying to prove that they aren’t quite done yet. The show will be, appropriately titled, “Dana Whites Tuesday Night Contender Series.”

The show will be filmed in Las Vegas in front of a closed-circuit audience featuring female and male fighters from all 11 weight classes. An interesting fact is that these fights will count on the official records of those involved, unlike The Ultimate Fighter where the fights are considered exhibitions.

Henry’s Analysis: Most other sports have a clear feeder system. The NFL has college football, and then a draft. And the same can be said about baseball, basketball, and most other major sports. But in MMA, it can be easy to slip through the cracks. Shows like the Ultimate Fighter and this new Contender Series are great for up-and-coming fighters to show what they are capable of, and in front of an audience that otherwise would not see them on the regional scene. Hopefully this works out for all involved, and the UFC can find some nice prospects, and perhaps even a few vets who still have a bit of gas in the tank. This is an interesting concept, and I’m always down for more fights. I imagine that we will see a lot of shows like this in the future because with more promotions signing fighters, it seems like a harder push could be made to sign up prospects so that Bellator or another promotion doesn’t end up with the next Jon Jones. I imagine we will get some decent fights out of this show, plus a few Dana White one-liners. Also, Mick Maynard is expected to be involved, so perhaps we will learn a bit more about the philosophy of the UFCs newest match maker.

Cody Garbrandt vs. TJ Dillashaw in jeopardy?

Rumors have surfaced that Cody Garbrandt has injured his back and will pull out of his upcoming bout with T.J. Dillashaw. Dana White responded to the rumors and stated that the fight is still on. He said he sent Garbrandt to Germany for a procedure that he has 100 percent confidence in.

“If this doesn’t work, he’ll be the only athlete I’ve ever known of that it didn’t work for,” he said. “It worked for Kobe Bryant. It works for A-Rod and soccer players [worldwide]. I mean, every athlete I’ve ever know that’s gone there has come out healed.”

He went on to state that Dillashaw has already contacted him and said that, if Garbrandt can’t compete, then he would love to go down and fight Demetrious “Mighty Mouse” Johnson for his belt instead. Things have been pretty interesting in these lighter weight classes as of late.


-After comments by Kevin Lee about Michael Chiesa’s mother, a brawl broke out on stage as Chiesa rushed Lee and a punch or two was thrown. It’s an interesting video to watch and I highly suggest checking it out.

-For those of you that follow the mad man known as Jason Ellis, he’s at it again. After his recent KO loss to a one-armed Shane Carwin, Ellis decided that he wanted to get back into action, and he did that last weekend with a submission win in his second pro MMA fight. Not a bad performance for a man in his mid-40s.

-If you are a fan of grappling, remember that Chael Sonnen will be putting on his 4th Submission Underground event, which features UFC Hall of Famer Uriah Faber, as well as recent Bellator signee Dillon Danis taking on former UFC fighter and MMA legend Jake Shields.


-Joanne Calderwood vs. Cynthia Calvillo announced for UFC: Glasgow

-Frank Mir vs. Chael Sonnen announced for ADCC Super Fight in September

-Justin Gaethje vs. Michael Johnson announced for TUF 25 Finale

-Chris Weidman vs. Kelvin Gastelum announced for UFC on Fox 25

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