A series of short elbows stopped light heavyweight Spann’s (10-5) takedown in its tracks and gave Roberson (5-0) the TKO finish. The stoppage earned him a UFC contract, decided upon by UFC President Dana White following the event. A second contract went to Geoff Neal (8-2) for a first-round TKO of Chase Waldon (11-3) earlier in the night.
“I love elbows,” Roberson, a GLOROY kickboxing veteran, said afterward. “I’m dangerous everywhere.”
Dana White’s Contender Series 3 took place Tuesday at The Ultimate Fighter Gym in Las Vegas. The card streamed live on UFC Fight Pass.
Roberson shared a quick conversation with UFC President Dana White afterward and revealed the boss may want him to move weight classes, presumably down to middleweight. White said the same following the event, believing Roberson could fight at light heavyweight for smaller promotions, but in the UFC might be undersized for the division.
“I said wherever he needs me, that’s where I’m going to go,” Roberson said.
Jeremy Jackson hobbled; Kyle Stewart wins in another injury TKO
An apparent ankle dislocation brought Jeremy Jackson’s UFC dream to a halt and the second injury TKO of the night.
Kyle Stewart (7-0) picked up the win when Jackson’s (7-3) ankle gave out, prompting a stoppage just 21 seconds into the second round.
“Nobody wants to win that way,” a way-hyped Stewart said afterward. “I injured my shoulder before and I felt it pop back out on the first takedown. I’m a little upset how it ended. But all hats off to him. He’s a stud.”
It was Stewart’s powerful right hand that laid the groundwork for the finish. Smothered, out-grappled, and pounded for much of the opening frame, he got back to his feet and landed a right hand that dropped Jackson. As Jackson fell, his ankle folded awkwardly beneath him.
When the fight resumed in the second, the injury’s severity was revealed.
Geoff Neal gets second first-round KO in two weeks with stoppage of Chase Waldon
Maybe it was a head kick that motivated middleweight Waldon to shoot for a takedown on Neal. It was a good idea, however short lived.
After “Handz of Steel” Neal righted himself, he plastered Waldon with a flurry of punches to pick up a TKO at the 1:56 mark of the opening round.
“I come in and try to knock people out,” Neal said afterward. “That’s what people want to see.”
Just two weeks ago, Neal had done the same thing at LFA 16, leaving him primed to earn the UFC contract.
“The nerves weren’t there,” he said “I was ready to repeat what I did a couple of weeks ago.”
Alonzo Menifield (unhappily) wins an injury TKO over Daniel Jolly
Usually, fighters are pretty stoked to win in front of White. But not light heavyweight Alonzo Menifield.
“Are you (expletive) serious? Menifield said after being informed he won an injury TKO over UFC vet Daniel Jolly. “I don’t want to win like that.”
Menifield (4-0) would have to live with it, however, after a mildly contentious round with Jolly (5-3), who looked to get back into the octagon after getting cut on a two-fight skid. Jolly landed a nice overhand right that got Menifield’s attention, leaving him eager to repay the favor in the second round.
But in the 60 seconds between rounds, Jolly said he couldn’t see, an escalation of a previous complaint to the referee that an eye poke had occurred in a late-round exchange.
Menifield wasn’t sure when the alleged foul occurred and told Laura Sanko he wanted another shot to impress White – win or not.
“He caught me with a good right,” he said. “I wanted to go through a second round, so I could get him back. But I can’t, so whatever.”
Justin Gaethje training partner Dan Ige stings Luis Gomez before submitting him
Gomez managed to survive for two rounds. But in the third, he succumbed to another weapon: the rear-naked choke.
In a battle of proteges, Ige (8-1), a training partner of Justin Gaethje, went toe-to-toe with Gomez (4-1), a disciple of Jorge Masvidal, before sinking in the choke at 3:23 of the final round.
“I don’t want an easy fight – I want tough fights,” Ige told UFC commentator Laura Sanko afterward. “I believe I earned my contract tonight.”
Ige smashed Gomez’s nose with his power punch in the first round, but a kick gave Gomez the opportunity to slow the fight down on the mat.
Gomez repeated the strategy in the second, though his lack of work up top prompted referee Jason Herzog to stand the fight up. He was stunned again, only to get another takedown.
Ige’s fists missed in the final frame, but a slick kimura attempt allowed him to take Gomez’s back and sink the choke.
Dana White’s Contender Series 3 results:
- Karl Roberson vs. Ryan Spann via TKO (strikes) – Round 1, 0:15
- Kyle Stewart def. Jason Jackson via TKO (injury) – Round 2, 0:21
- Geoff Neal def. Chase Waldon via TKO (strikes) – Round 1, 1:56
- Alonzo Menifield def. Daniel Jolly via TKO (injury) – Round 1, 5:00
- Dan Ige def. Luis Gomez via submission (rear-naked choke) – Round 3, 3:23
For more on Dana White’s Contender Series 3, check out the MMA Events section of the site.