Dana White’s Contender Series FULL REPORT , Season 3, EP 3

Cole Henry MMATorch Live event reporter

Joe Solecki

Dana White Tuesday Night Contender Series (Season 3) Episode 3

Las Vegas, Nevada 

UFC Performance Institute 

Jonathan Pearce def. Jacob Rosales via TKO (Punches) Round 3, 1:50 

I apologize for not providing full coverage for this fight. It was a good back and forth fight that took place on the ground and the feet. Pearce is not the most technical fighter, but he absolutely has heart, and he has a bit of an interesting personality as well. 

Maki Pitolo vs. Justin Sumter (Middleweight)

Round 1: Pitolo is the aggressor in the early going. He’s attacking with low kicks and combinations of punches to the face and body. Sumter is covering up! Pitolo is hammering Sumter in the ribs with some stiff punches! Sumter crumbles to the mat in a heap, and Pitolo finishes him off with a few shots on the ground! Wow! What a performance! 

Result: Maki Pitolo def. Justin Sumter via TKO (Punches to Body) Round 1, 1:37

Chris Ocon vs. Hunter Azure (Bantamweight)

Round 1: Azure is looking for a takedown in the early moments of the round. Ocon is defending though, and he’s landing solid low kicks as well. Azure is having a difficult time closing the distance. Azure scores with a jab and then a stinging right hand! He shoots, but Ocon defends again! Azure fires off a 1-2! Ocon shoots, but Azure catches him in a front headlock! Ocon escapes the position though, and both fighters are now working for a good place against the fence. Ocon scores with a left hook to the body, he appears to have composed himself a bit after a rough start. Azure shoots again, but Ocon sidesteps him. Azure fires off an overhand and shoots at the tail end of it, but Ocon stays on his feet. Ocon is showing off some solid takedown defense tonight. (10-9 Azure)

Round 2: Azure scores early with an uppercut, and puts Ocon against the fence. Azure attempts a takedown, but Ocon defends. Azure scores with a low kick, and uses the momentum to close the distance. He shoots and completes a takedown. Ocon turtles and Azure takes his back! Azure is attempting to flatten Ocon out with just under two minutes left in the round. Azure slaps on a rear naked choke, but Ocon is defending so far. Azure gives up on the choke, and he is now focusing on punches from the back mounted position. Thirty seconds left in the round… (10-9 Azure) 

Round 3: Ocon scores with a right hand to break the ice. Azure returns fire with a few shots of his own. He shoots and takes Ocon down with just over four minutes left in the round. Azure is looking to set up a choke, but he can’t quite get into position, he’s attempting a Darce, or some sort of neck-tie. Ocon stands up, but Azure still has his neck. He snaps Ocon down to the mat and takes his back! Azure is looking for an RNC in the final moments of the round, but Ocon looks like he will survive. Azure has had the back for two minutes now, but he cannot seem to find the finish. Azure scrambles to the front headlock position but that allows Ocon to get back to his feet as the round ends. (10-9 Azure) (30-27 Azure) 

Result: Hunter Azure def. Chris Ocon via Unanimous Decision 

Analysis: Azure looked great and is probably a UFC caliber fighter, but his inability to get the finish will likely hurt him in Dana White’s eyes. He still deserves a contract, though, in my opinion. 

Kenneth Bergh vs. Antonio Tricoli (Light-heavyweight)

Round 1: Tricoli is looking for a takedown early on. He has a body lock, but Bergh is fighting him for positioning against the fence! The position has been reversed, and it’s now Bergh that is threatening with a takedown. Tricoli gets inside with an underhook and tosses Bergh through the air and onto the mat! Tricoli takes side control, and he is threatening from there with a head-arm triangle! Bergh is defending, he turtles and attempts to stand, but Tricoli takes his back. Tricoli sets two hooks and slaps on a neck crank! Bergh taps and this fight is over! 

Result: Antonio Tricoli def. Kenneth Bergh via Submission (Rear Naked Choke) Round 1, 3:57 

Dana White is going to have one hell of a time deciding who to give these contracts to. We haven’t had a bad fight yet. 

Jesse Wallace vs. Joe Solecki (Lightweight)

Round 1: Solecki is looking good in the early going, he’s landing seemingly at will. Wallace attempts a kick, but Solecki catches it and takes him down. Solecki is working from side control, he has a tight body lock, and he’s trying to take the back. Solecki moves into the mount; he appears to be the far superior ground technician so far. Wallace rolls, but Solecki rolls with him and takes his back in the process. Solecki has a body lock, and he is working for an RNC! Wallace rolls to his stomach but finds himself in a guillotine! Wallace is out! Jesse Wallace has gone out! Joe Solecki is solid! 

Result: Joe Solecki def. Jesse Wallace via Submission (Guillotine) Round 1, 3:49 

Unofficial Rankings: 

I would give contracts to all five fighters. 

(Official) Awarded Contracts: Jonathan Pearce, Maki Pitolo,  Hunter Azure, Antonio Tricoli, Hunter Azure 

This is the first time ever that Dana White has awarded contracts to all five winners. 


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