Dana White’s Contender Series, S 3, EP 9 LIVE REPORT

Cole Henry MMATorch Live event reporter

Contender Series ep 9

Ricky Steele vs. Phil Caracappa (Bantamweight)

Steele controlled most of the first and second round. Caracappa had a tough time in the clinch, which also seemed to be where he wanted the fight to take place. Caracappa did have some moments in the third round where he wobbled Steele with an elbow and punches. Ultimately though, it was Steele’s fight, and Caracappa was just a step slow. 

Result: Ricky Steele def. Phil Caracappa via Split Decision 

Verdict: I missed parts of this fight, but Steele looked excellent. Not sure what the judge who scored for his opponent was watching. I think he will get a contract, but it could go either way. 

Mallory Martin vs. Micol Di Segni (Strawweight) 

Round 1: Good back and forth action in the early going, both fighters are landing. Martin shoots for a takedown and completes it; she is now working from side control. She moves to mount briefly, but Di Segni recovers half guard. She attempts to mount again but settles for side control. She is landing elbows and punches from that position. Di Segni scrambles back to her feet; she is doing all she can to stay there. Martin has the neck, and briefly threatens with a guillotine, but Di Segni escapes. (10-9 Martin)

Round 2: They’re exchanging in the first seconds of the round. Di Segni connects with a 1-2! Martin returns a well placed left hand, and then shoots! This time though Di Segni is able to keep her footing. Di Segni lands a jab, and then a straight to the body. She’s mixing things up so far in this round. Martin closes the distance; she is looking for upper body hooks. From that position, she takes her opponent down with just under two minutes left in the round. Di Segni scrambles back to her feet and connects with a short uppercut. Di Segni throws a spinning back fist!… and misses… she trips and hits the mat, and that is how the round will end. (10-9 Martin)

Round 3: Di Segni comes out with some big shots! Most of them miss, but you cannot fault her for trying. Martin shrugs the shots off and takes her opponent down! Di Segni turtles up; Martin is on her back and landing punches! Di Segni stands up after quite a bit of effort. She unloads with a few shots on the feet. She connects with a nice right hand. Martin is avoiding most of the big shots for the most part though. Martin changes levels for a takedown in the final moments of the round, but she doesn’t get it. (10-9 Di Segni) (29-28 Martin) This will probably be a win for Martin because of her grappling control; it wasn’t close really. But Di Segni looked decent on the feet, and she was very aggressive through-out, so the decision might be an interesting one. 

Result: Mallory Martin def. Micol Di Segni via Unanimous Decision 

Verdict: Di Segni was the more exciting fighter, but she lacked skills. Martin was very composed, and her grappling was very good. I think she needs a bit more work, but who am I? Well not Dana White, so… But with that being said, Martin just was not that impressive overall. And I’ll be honest… I don’t like her attitude. Just as I typed that she started crying and talking about her father passing away so… I’ll move on. 

Desmond Torres vs. Steve Garcia (Bantamweight) 

*Garcia missed weight 

Round 1: Torres is throwing some wild shots early on! They clinch, and Torres is landing lots of shots here but sois Garcia! He shoots and takes Garcia down, but cannot keep him there. Garcia is looking for a takedown against the fence. They separate and Garcia connects with a quick left hand. Garcia connects with a big left hand! He follows it up with a knee! Torres is in trouble here! He is attacking the body! Torres is down, and Garcia follows him and finishes him off with hammerfists! We must now take into account that Garcia missed weight… will he get a contract? The performance sure was impressive enough. 

Result: Steve Garcia def. Desmond Torres via TKO (Punches) Round 1, 4:36 

Verdict: In my opinion, if you miss weight you cannot get a contract… If nothing else this should earn Garcia a return appearance on the show. 

Jamal Pogues vs. Marcos Brigagao (Light-heavyweight)

Round 1: They are both aggressive to start the fight; both guys are throwing some big shots. Pogues shoots and scores with a takedown! Brigagao is able to scramble back to his feet though, after threatening off his back with submissions. Pogues shoots again and takes him right back down. He’s looking for an armbar, but Brigagao appears to be okay. Brigagao kicks his way back to his feet, but Pogues catches him with a 1-2. Brigagao moves forward with a flurry but Pogues ducks and takes him down. (10-9 Pogues)

Round 2: Pogues misses with a head kick to start the round. Brigagao backs up against the cage, and Pogues makes him pay with a heavy combination! From there, Pogues shoots and takes Brigagao down! Brigagao is looking for submissions, but Pogues is landing some big punches! They scramble, and Pogues scores with another takedown! Absolute domination so far by Pogues. Brigagao looks exhausted… so does Pogues for that matter. Pogus connects with a jab and a right hook. Brigagao is just walking forward and getting his at this point of the fight; he’s showing no meaningful offense. (10-9 Pogues) Fantastic stuff by Jamal Pogues so far. 

Round 3: Pogues is working hard to keep up his grappling out-put. He is working for a takedown, but Brigagao is doing all that he can to survive. Pogues shoots and completes a double leg takedown; he will likely retain this position for a while. Brigagao has closed his guard, and he doesn’t appear to be looking for submissions. (10-9 Pogues) (30-27 Pogues)

Result: Jamal Pogues def. Marcos Brigagao via Unanimous Decision 

Verdict: Dominant performance by Pogues… He did not earn a finish, but he was good everywhere, and his opponent appeared to be game. He did not have the grappling to deal with Pogues.

Leon Shahbazyan vs. Philip Rowe (Welterweight)

Round 1: Shahbazyan catches Rowe with an uppercut! Rowe is down! Shahbazyan is looking for the finish! Rowe scrambles to his feet, but he is in trouble here! Shahbazyan is not giving him very much room to breathe. Shahbazyan lands to the body and misses the follow up right hand! Rowe returns an uppercut! Rowe seems to have recovered from those earlier shots; he is backing Shahbazyan up. Shahbazyan scores with a front kick as the round ends. (10-9 Shahbazyan)

Round 2: Rowe scores with a 1-2 to break the ice in round 2. Shahbazyan closes the distance with a combination and attempts a takedown against the fence. Rowe reverses the position though, and now he is working for a takedown. Rowe is unloading with some big shots! Shahbazyan cannot get off the fence, and Rowe is tagging him! Shahbazyan shoots for a takedown and completes it. That likely saved him from being finished there. Rowe ends up on top though, working from Shahbazyans guard. Rowe is landing some hard elbows from the top position; he has just under thirty seconds left to work. The bell will save Shahbazyan, but he was in trouble there. (10-9 Rowe) 

Round 3: Rowe lands early and puts Shahbazyan down with punches! It’s all over! Shahbazyan turtled up after getting hit, and Rowe took it from there. Great stuff and fantastic come back. He deserves a contract. 

Result: Philip Rowe def. Leon Shahbazyan via TKO (Punches) Round 3, 0:16 

Contracts Awarded: Phillip Rowe 

Analysis: Not a great night of fights. Garcia was passed over because of missing weight, and Dana White suggested that he move up. He told Jamal Pogues that he needs a bit more experience, and he essentially said the same to the others as well. Phillip Rowe looked great in the main event, and he is a confident guy. He should have a bright future.

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.