For 2-time DWCS winner Joby Sanchez, there's upside to taking scenic route back to UFC


Filed under: Radio Highlight, UFC, Videos

Joby Sanchez’s way back into the UFC was a hard-earned, but the way he sees it, that might have just worked out for the best.

After a 1-2 octagon stint between 2014 and 2015, Sanchez got another chance to earn his way back into the UFC on July 11, when he landed a spot in the first episode of Dana White’s Contender Series. Sanchez did his part, coming out with an unanimous decision over Manny Vazquez. But it still wasn’t enough to earn him a contract.

Still, Sanchez wasn’t about to let that deter him.

“I asked Dana after the first one to let me fight again,” Sanchez told MMAjunkie Radio. “Let me show you I belong here. I belong in the UFC.”

The plea worked.

Sanchez (11-2 MMA, 1-2 UFC) secured another chance, this time on the seventh episode of the show, against J.P. Buys (4-2), and Sanchez capitalized with a second-round TKO to punch his octagon ticket.

Sanchez certainly had to take the scenic route. But looking a little deeper, he believes that might not be all bad.

“I think the two fights in the (Contender Series) was good exposure for me,” Sanchez said. “I think it’s going to help with my career in the UFC. A lot of people are going to know who I am. I won’t be kind of lost in the crowd, whereas that kind of happens with some fighters.

“Like anything else, like ‘Lookin’ for a Fight’ or anything – I like how they kind of gave us our backstory, and show people what we are fighting for. And people can relate to that. I think it’s very cool that Dana did this show.”

The Jackson-Wink MMA-trained fighter suffered the only two losses of his professional career in the octagon. His losses to Wilson Reis and Geane Herrera were sandwiched between a split decision win over Tateki Matsuda. Sanchez rides a four-fight winning streak into his second crack at the big show.

For more on the upcoming UFC schedule, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

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Filed under: Radio Highlight, UFC, Videos
Source: MMA Junkie

DWCS 8 UFC contract winner Matt Frevola: 'When I hit people, they fall'


Filed under: News, UFC, Videos

LAS VEGAS – New UFC contract winner Matt Frevola has a very simple outlook on his fights.

“I hit him, and he fell,” Frevola told MMAjunkie Tuesday night. “That was the plan. When I hit people, they fall.”

The one who fell this time was Luke Flores (7-1), who suffered his first pro loss when Frevola (6-0) submitted him in the second round. Frevola knocked Flores down in the opening minute of the fight in the main event of Dana White’s Contender Series 8, then went on to force the tap with an arm-triangle choke. The fight took place at The Ultimate Fighter Gym in Las Vegas and streamed live on UFC Fight Pass.

With the win, Frevola was one of two fighters on Tuesday night’s season finale of the show to get a UFC contract from President Dana White.

“I’m so happy right now,” Frevola said. “We came here to handle business. This is what we came here to do, and we did it. Now it’s right back to work.”

That work, Frevola said, will include perhaps finding a way to taper a propensity for coming out quickly and throwing everything but the proverbial kitchen sink early. Training with Ray Longo and former UFC middleweight champion Chris Weidman in New York may help with that.

“I want to come out there a little bit more composed,” Frevola said. “As you can see, I come out there pretty hard. But every time I come in there, I’m going to grow and I’m going to improve. The next time, when I’m in the UFC, I’m going to be 10 times the fighter you saw there and I’m going to start my climb.”

For more from Frevola after his submission win over Flores, check out the video above.

And for more on Dana White’s Contender Series 8, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

Filed under: News, UFC, Videos
Source: MMA Junkie

Watch Laura Sanko catch a DWCS 8 winner about to say he punched like a girl … oops!

Filed under: Blue Corner, Featured Videos, News, UFC

The most awkward, yet hilarious, moment of the first season of Dana White’s Contender Series happened during the finale Tuesday night.

Moments after Bevon Lewis TKO’d Elias Urbina, he was interviewed by backstage reporter Laura Sanko – a former Invicta FC fighter, in case you didn’t know. She asked Lewis about the punch that dropped Urbina and led to the finish, and when Lewis started down the path of explaining that he used to punch like a girl, Sanko put him on the spot.

Sanko: “Did you know that that right hand would be there coming into this fight?”

Lewis: “Yeah, with southpaws you definitely know the right hand’s gonna be there, and I was working on ground-and-pound, because I feel like I used to punch like a … I used to punch like a …”


Lewis: “I used to punch really light.”

Sanko: “You almost said a girl, didn’t you?”

Lewis: “No, no, no, no. I used to punch like a toddler. I used to punch like a toddler, and my brother used to make fun of it. So I said, ‘Hey, let’s do it. Let’s work on this ground-and-pound.’”


Nice try, Bevin Lewis, but Laura Sanko got you good.

Check out the “oops” moment in the video above.

And for more on DWCS 8, check out the MMA Events section of the site.

Filed under: Blue Corner, Featured Videos, News, UFC
Source: MMA Junkie

DWCS 8 results: Matt Frevola, Lauren Mueller punch their tickets to UFC with impressive wins

Undefeated lightweight Matt Frevola (6-0) kept his record perfect with a second-round submission win over a previously unbeaten Luke Flores (7-1), in the process securing one of two UFC contracts awarded.

The matchup served as the featured contest of Tuesday’s Dana White’s Contender Series 8 event, which took place at The Ultimate Fighter Gym in Las Vegas and streamed live on UFC Fight Pass. The card wrapped up the debut season of the new show, designed to bring talent to the UFC.

Both men started quickly, but it was Frevola who landed flush and scored a knockdown in the opening minute. Flores did battle his way back to the feet, but Frevola kept pushing with powerful punches. Flores seemed to regain his composure as the round wore on, and Frevola had to steady his pace to prepare for a long haul. Flores focused on kicks as his primary attack, chopping away at his opponent’s legs. Meanwhile, Frevola continued to lace in powerful hooks as he pushed forward and scored a takedown. As Flores tried to attack, Frevola moved to the back, but he was unable to get the finish before the bell.

Frevola was again aggressive on the feet to start and then quickly took the fight to the floor, but Flores swept and moved to the feet. The pace remained incredibly high, and Frevola again scored a few big right hands before taking the fight to the floor. Frevola looked for options and eventually locked in an arm-triangle choke, holding mount to ensure it was secure before moving out to the side and getting the tap.

Lewis stays perfect

In a middleweight bout between previously undefeated athletes, Bevon Lewis (4-0) survived some trouble to battle back for an impressive TKO win over Elias Urbina (3-1)

Urbina was quick to start, nearly scoring with a flying knee in the opening seconds, but Lewis avoided the big shots and settled into a rhythm. The two traded shots in close quarters as bout opened, and Lewis was eventually able to push the action to the floor. Urbina tried to turn his hips for a submission, but Lewis simply brushed the legs aside and eventually backed away to the feet. Spirited exchanges on the feet ensued, with both men using their long frame to attack from all angles.

The pace was high again in the second before Urbina scores with a flying knee that stunned his foe. Lewis somehow shook it off and continued and actually started to land some big shots of his own. With Urbina seeking huge haymakers, Lewis focused on straight punches and started to hit the mark. Both men landed flush, but it was Lewis’ who earned a knockdown, and he jumped on top with huge shots to finish the deal.

Antonlin takes split call in razor-thin affair

In a flyweight matchup, Adam Antolin (13-3) gritted out a decision win over Casey Kenney (7-1-1) in a thrilling affair.

Both men were quick to start, firing punches and kicks to all angles as they danced around the cage. Antolin’s kicks were sharp, but Kenney answered back with strong punches, as well. The action remained high, and both men were swinging hard in the pocket. It was back-and-forth on the feet, and both men had impressive moments but neither took full control. Kenney did seem to catch momentum in the final two minutes, starting with a low kick that briefly swept his opponent to the floor.

The pace remained high in the second, with both fighter moving well and delivering offense. Punches and kicks from all angles were exchanged in entertaining fashion. Antolin started to land more frequently as the round wore on, but Kenney was always there to return fire. Toe-to-toe, the action continued, and Kenny’s left hand seemed the best weapon of the bunch. Kenney’s low kicks also kept his opponent off-balance, but Antolin was always there to recover and counter.

Neither man could be comfortable with the scores heading into the third, and they both continued to move at a solid pace. Antolin appeared just a touch fresher, but both were dangerous. Back-and-forth the action continued on the feet. Punches and kicks landed for both men along the way, and Antolin appeared to be the one pushing the pace. The two never stopped, and Kenny actually worked himself into an anaconda attempt to close but couldn’t get the tap. After a hard-fought affair, Antolin took home a split decision over a shocked Kenney.

Mueller shines over game Velasco

In the second women’s fight in Contenders Series history, Lauren Mueller (4-0) kept her career mark perfect with an impressive decision win over a game Kelly Velasco (2-2).

Mueller came out quickly, rifling in punches and firing kicks, as well. Velasco seemed a bit surprised by the early aggression and struggled to score early. The two moved quickly into the clinch, dirty boxing a bit before resetting after a failed Mueller takedown. Mueller appeared the more powerful woman as they exchanged strikes on the feet. Still, Velasco stayed firm in the pocket and battled strong in the clinch, as well. The pace slowed a but as the round wore on, but Mueller still looked the stronger fighter when they engaged. Mueller briefly dropped her hands to invite her foe to trade and then blasted her with heavy punches and knees, but Velasco wouldn’t go away. With the final seconds ticking away, Mueller unleashed another barrage that clearly rocked her foe but didn’t get the finish before the bell.

Velasco tried to use her reach to keep range in the second, but Mueller was simply too much. The action transitioned quickly from the feet to the floor, and Mueller worked her way to the top. Velasco refused to go away, showing heart and determination but absorbing damage along the way. The action was one-sided, but Velasco refused to quit, and Mueller – a late replacement – did start to slow. Still, Mueller remained in clear control.

Velasco tried to push the action in the third, but Mueller gathered herself and again went on the attack. She still showed the power edge but struggled to keep her volume high. Velasco found some success from range, but Mueller dominated when they moved in close. McGill briefly threatened with a guillotine, but it was never truly close. Mueller pushed until the end, landing a stunning spinning backfist and then blasting away with knees to the body. Velasco survived until the end, but the winner was clear.

Crowder outlasts Mayes

Heavyweights kicked off the night, with Allen Crowder (7-2) outlasting Don’Tale Mayes (3-2) to earn a late TKO.

Both fighters threw heavy low kicks to start the contest, before Mayes started head-hunting with big shots on the feet. Crowder then looked for a takedown, but a slick Mayes sweep saw him move to the back and land some big punches. An alert Crowder then crawled to his feet pulled his head free from a guillotine and scores his own takedown to reverse the action. Mayes worked hard to wiggle free, but Crowder maintained dominant position until the final minute, when they returned to the feet for a quick salvo.

Crowder was the aggressor to start the second, and he seemed the fresher fighter. Mayes threw heavy punches in return but struggled to land clean. Crowder eventually pushed an off-balance Mayes to the floor and took top position. Crowder willingly moves out of the dominant spot in hopes of chasing an armbar or triangle choke, but it backfired, leaving Mayes in side control. Crowder quickly reversed but then had the favor returned. Crowder spent some time on bottom before a last-minute kimura attempt that seemed dangerous but saw his opponent saved by the bell.

Mayes looked downright exhausted to start the third, though Crowder wasn’t too much better. Still, Crowder landed the better shots on the feet and eventually moved inside for a takedown, dragging his winded opponent to the floor. Crowder briefly tried top isolate the right arm but let in go in favor of maintaining position and eventually posturing with a series of punches and elbows that brought the fight to a close.

For more on DWCS 8, check out the MMA Events section of the site.

Filed under: News, UFC
Source: MMA Junkie

Dana White's Contender Series 7 and 8 lineups revealed; one fighter returns for seconds

Joby Sanchez is getting another crack at it.

The flyweight is returning to Dana White’s Contender Series to take on J.P. Buys in the seventh installment. The lineups for both DWCS 7 and 8 are set to close out the first season.

DWCS 7 takes place Aug. 22 and DWCS 8 on Aug. 29, with both events hailing from The Ultimate Fighter Gym in Las Vegas and streaming live on UFC Fight Pass.

Sanchez (10-2, 1-2 UFC) on July 11 defeated Manny Vasquez at DWCS 1 by unanimous decision but did not secure a UFC contract. The victory marked his third in a row. He’s trying to get back into the UFC after a previous three-fight stint with the industry leader that ended in 2015.

Buys (4-1) will enter having competed his entire pro career to this point in Extreme Fighting Championship, where all five of his bouts have ended in finishes.

The DWCS 7 lineup includes:

  • Anton Berzin vs. Kennedy Nzechukwu
  • Benito Lopez vs. Steven Peterson
  • J.P. Buys vs. Joby Sanchez
  • Mark Cherico vs. Mike Santiago
  • Jordan Espinosa vs. Nick Urso

The DWCS 8 lineup includes:

  • Matt Frevola vs. Luke Flores
  • Bevon Lewis vs. Elias Urbina
  • Allen Crowder vs. Don’Tale Mayes
  • Adam Antolin vs. Casey Kenney
  • Janay Harding vs. Kelly McGill-Velasco

For more on Dana White’s Contender Series 7 and 8, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

Filed under: News, UFC
Source: MMA Junkie