The season 2 premiere of Dana White’s Tuesday Night Contender Series kicked off on Tuesday night.
Kevin Holland vs. Will Santiago (Middleweight/185)
Round 1: Kevin Holland has nearly a foot of a reach advantage on his opponent and nearly half a foot of height. Holland mentioned his background in Kung Fu pre-fight, while Santiago mentioned his background in prison. Interesting stuff. Santiago lands a right hand and Holland is looking for a takedown. He gets it, but Santiago has a guillotine. Back on the feet Holland nearly lands a jumping knee but Santiago avoids it. Holland is throwing some interesting strikes, he just threw a sort of axe chop type thing. Must be from the Kung Fu background. Holland lands a nice jab that backs Santiago up. He isn’t taking much advantage of his reach advantage and Santiago isn’t having a problem with it. Santiago lands a series of left hooks to end the round. Solid round but very close and it could go either way. 10-9 Santiago
Round 2: I don’t think Holland is used to fighting guys as short as Santiago. He is moving in a lot and as I mentioned earlier he isn’t taking advantage of his 11.5-inch reach advantage. Nice over hand right by Santiago. Santiago lands a right hook that sends Holland backwards. Holland ducks for a takedown but Santiago chooses to back away and they’re back in the center. Holland lands a right hand and a hard kick to the body. Definitely his best moment in this fight so far. Holland lands another right hand and Santiago is bleeding beneath the left eye. The momentum is firmly in Hollands corner right now, he has Santiago mostly just playing defense. Much clearer round. 10-9 Holland
Round 3: Holland lands a high kick, but Santiago eats it and drops Holland with a hard-left hand. Holland is right back on his feet, but it was a nice shot none the less. Holland is taunting a bit with 3-minute left in the fight. He should probably be looking for a finish considering the purpose of the show he is on. The commentators are pretty much saying the same thing. Nice elbow lands for Holland. Santiago gets a takedown but Holland pops right back up. Santiago is controlling against the fence with 45 seconds remaining. Santiago has a leg and is looking for a takedown, but Holland has an under hook. Holland jumps guard in the final seconds of the fight. 10-9 Holland but it was a close fight despite the confidence shown during the fight by Holland. (29-28 Holland)
Kevin Holland def. Will Santiago Decision (unanimous)
Aftermath: It was a good performance for Kevin Holland, but you must wonder if going to decision will affect him. It seemed like he could have gone for a finish but didn’t for some reason. In his post-fight interview, he gave a confident speech but admitted that his performance probably was enough. Weird.
Montel Jackson vs. Rico DiSciullo (Bantamweight/135)
Round 1: DiSciullo has an interesting stance and has some interesting movement. He hasn’t landed much though. Nice knee by Jackson and he lands a combination against the fence. DiSciullo is down and in trouble. Jackson is landing some nice elbows on the ground. He takes the back and lands a couple strikes and one of them was an illegal elbow. Herb Dean stops the fight and it was a blatantly illegal elbow. Herb Dean just took a point. Nice low kick lands for DiSciullo. Jackson lands a kick directly to the groin of DiSciullo and we have another brief stoppage. Tough night for DiSciullo. 9-9 DRAW (Jackson lost 1 point for an illegal elbow but otherwise won the round)
Round 2: Low kick lands for DiSciullo at the start of the round. Jackson has a body lock and drags DiSciullo down to the mat. Jackson lands a nice knee to the side of DiSciullo. DiSciullo attempts to stand but Jackson slams him back down. 2 minutes left. Jackson is in complete control on the ground. They mentioned in the pre-fight break down that he was training for the U.S. Olympic wrestling team but switched to MMA for money reasons. 10-9 Jackson
Round 3: DiSciullo is landing some nice punches early in the round. Jackson lands a jab right on the button forcing DiSciullo backward. Jackson just poked DiSciullo in the eye. Third foul of the night. We are running out of rules to break. DiSciullo could have had up to 15 minutes of recovery time in this fight. This fight could have lasted 30 minutes under different circumstances. Herb Dean just took a point from Jackson. Crazy stuff. Jackson just landed a big knee and DiSciullo is down and Jackson is attacking. DiSciullo is covering up but he is busted open and just trying to get away and its over.
Montel Jackson def. Rico DiSciullo TKO (punches) at 2:15 of round 3
Aftermath: Jackson committed a ton of fouls, but it was a nice performance aside from that. He apologized in his post-fight interview and was pretty emotional. Hard to say if he will get a contract considering the fouls but it was a nice finish.
Greg Hardy vs. Austen Lane (Heavyweight/265)
Round 1: Two former NFL players here. Greg Hardy is a controversial guy, but he has looked good in his MMA fights up to this point and people like redemption stories. Austen Lane lands a solid leg kick and then Greg Hardy pokes him in the eye. We have a brief stoppage. Big left-hand lands for Lane. Hardy lands a big right hand and follows it up with a big left. Nice debut for Greg Hardy
Greg Hardy def. Austen Lane KO (punches) at :57 of round 1
Aftermath: Greg Hardy took a good shot early in the round but once he landed a big shot of his own it was over. Its hard to say how he will do on the roster with so few fights but his performance was exceptional, and I must assume he will earn a contract. In his post-fight interview, he made it clear that he wanted a shot in the UFC and thinks he’s ready.
Chris Curtis vs. Sean Lally (Welterweight/170)
Round 1: Curtis lands a nice uppercut to start the round. Lally returns one of his own. Curtis lands a nice left hand and then another. Lally lands a looping left hook but Curtis survives. Curtis lands another solid left hand. Lally lands another wide left hook and a follow up right hand. 10-9 Curtis
Round 2: Curtis is landing lots of shot shots. Straight right lands for Curtis and he is in complete control with just over two minutes left in the fight. Both guys lands jabs. Nice combo for Lally. Curtis is just a bit faster and he’s making is hard for Lally to land anything of note. 10-9 Curtis
Round 3: Curtis lands a hook kick and Sean Lally is down! Curtis lands a few shots on the ground before Herb Dean steps in, but that kick was enough. Impressive stuff by Chris Curtis.
Chris Curtis def. Sean Lally KO (hook kick) at 1:37 of round 3
Aftermath: Slow fight until that hook kick but once it landed it felt like he’d been setting it up from the beginning. Chris Curtis hit his corner man Sam Alvey with an RKO after the fight. Good Stuff.
Rankings through 4 fights based only on performance:
1. Greg Hardy
2. Chris Curtis
3. Montel Jackson
4. Kevin Holland
Alonzo Menifield vs. Dashawn Boatwright (Light heavyweight/205)
Round 1: Dashawn Boatwright went for a high kick early and Menifield countered with a right hand and some SERIOUS elbows on the ground before getting the stoppage. That was fierce.
Light Heavyweight Alonzo Menifield def. Dashawn Boatwright TKO (punches) at :08 of round 1
Aftermath: That was an impressive performance. Not much else to say. Menifield attempted a backflip post-fight but it wasn’t good and that’s all I can say about that.
Dana Whites Verdict: Alonzo Menifield, and Greg Hardy have been given UFC contracts. White stated that Hardy will get a contract but will get more experience before fighting in the UFC. He didn’t really go into much detail on that, but I’d bet he fights for Legacy a few more times or maybe something else. It will be interesting to see.