What is Dana White’s Contender Series? Looking at the fighters that earned UFC contracts this season

The Dana White’s Contender Series is the brainchild of Dana White. Dana, the man behind the biggest MMA promotion in the world, has a passion for the sport that is second to none. When WME-IMG bought the UFC from Zuffa, their only demand was to have White remain at the helm of the UFC.

Dana is also the owner of the Power Slap League, which is an interesting new venture for him. White, an avid gambler, is a big proponent of The Power Slap League and has been at odds with individuals criticizing it for being injurious to health.

What is Dana White’s Contender Series?

Dana White’s Contender Series holds a prominent position within the American MMA landscape. This initiative was introduced by the UFC in May 2017, with Dana White taking the helm as its host. It initially aired on UFC Fight Pass and later relocated to ESPN Plus. It was formerly known as Dana White’s Tuesday Night Contender Series.

The core objective of this series is to serve as a talent-scouting platform for Dana White. The fighters who participate do not hold existing UFC contracts. This creates a unique opportunity for emerging talents to prove their worth on a competitive stage. Dana White operates under a separate promoter’s license for this venture. This underscores the distinction that it is not synonymous with the UFC.

Dana White's Contender Series

Instead, it is a pathway for fighters to showcase their skills with the aim of earning a place in the UFC. The series made its debut on July 11, 2017. The inaugural event took place at the UFC’s headquarters in Las Vegas, Nevada. Since then, it has played a vital role in the MMA landscape as a stepping stone for promising talent. Thus solidifying its significance in the world of mixed martial arts.

Fighters who won UFC contracts

Some of the notable fighters who came out of the Dana White Contender Series are Sean O’Malley and Jamahal Hill. Hill is the first alumni from the Contender Series to become a UFC champion. Sean O’Malley became the second one by beating Aljamain Sterling at the recently concluded UFC 292 event in Boston.

In the recently concluded 6th week of the 7th season of the Contender Series, all fighters who won the fight were awarded UFC contracts. James Llontop, Jhonata Diniz, Steven Nguyen, Julia Polastri, and Jean Matsumoto earned UFC contracts. Dana White was visibly pleased with the event, which featured exciting fights.

James Llontop secured a dominant decision win, while former Glory kickboxer Jhonata Diniz won by TKO in the first round, and Stev Nguyen did the same in the second round. Julia Polastri finished the fight via rear-naked choke, and Jean Matsumoto earned a dominant decision.

Dana White's Contender Series

One of the biggest prospects to come out of the contender series is Bo Nickal. He fought twice in the series and finished both fights in the first round. Nickal is a credentialed collegiate wrestler who is poised to be a UFC champion in the future.

What do you think of the Contender Series? Share your thoughts with us in the comment section. 


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