UFC-bound DWCS 6 winner Grant Dawson achieved a dream he had as a 15-year-old

http://link.brightcove.com/services/player/bcpid4621179066001?bckey=AQ~~,AAAABvaL8JE~,ufBHq_I6FnxR-PQW_F3sm5QdUbP7D6E9&bctid=5542377802001
Filed under: News, UFC, Videos

LAS VEGAS – Grant Dawson was just 15 when he chose his profession and focused on one dream: securing a contract with the world’s largest MMA promotion.

On Tuesday at Dana White’s Contender Series 6 event, Dawson (12-1) choked out featherweight Adrian Diaz (11-5-1). The performance, which streamed on UFC Fight Pass from The Ultimate Fighter Gym in Las vegas, earned Dawson his coveted UFC contract.

“I wanted to be in the UFC when I was 15 years old, when I decided to fight,” the 23-year-old Titan FC and Victory FC vet told MMAjunkie after the win. “I was 15 years old, and all I imagined is pressing my face and the bright lights and big fights.

“So this is natural to me. I’ve thinking about this. This is what I want. I have it. I’ve been here before. All right.”

Dawson, who has three knockouts and nine submissions in 12 career wins since his 2014 pro debut, dominated Diaz and ultimately earned a victory via second-round rear-naked choke. It impressed cageside UFC officials (via Twitter):

But for Dawson, who points to Conor McGregor and the ultra-aggressive Rafael dos Anjos (his “all-time favorite” fighter) as inspirations, it’s just the beginning.

“My path is getting in the UFC,” he said. “I’m there.

“Win some fights. That’s next.

“And then get a UFC title. The fame, the fortune – if it comes, that’s great. But this journey won’t be complete until I have a UFC world title. Some guys get in the UFC, and they say, ‘Yeah, I’m in the UFC. This is what I want.’ I don’t want to be in the UFC. I want to be a world champion. That’s the only goal.”

Check out the full interview above.

For more on Dana White’s Contender Series 6, visit the MMA Events section of the site.

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

Dana White's Contender Series 6 results: Charles Byrd wins for 2nd time, lands UFC contract

Middleweight Charles Byrd became the first fighter to win twice on Dana White’s Contender Series after submitting short-notice replacement Randall Wallace.

Byrd toughed it out after Wallace set up a rear-naked choke in the first, returning the favor at the 2:03 mark of the second frame in the headliner of Dana White’s Contender Series 6 on Tuesday.

For his troubles, Wallace was one of two fighters to earn a UFC contract.

“I knew I had to get a finish first,” Byrd said afterward. “The pressure went away because of the first fight, but it’s the big leagues. You’ve got to perform. I’m thankful I got another victory and the finish.”

The event took place at The Ultimate Fighter Gym in Las Vegas and streamed live on UFC Fight Pass.

Byrd came in hot with a flurry of punches but wound up catching a right hand that stunned him. Byrd tried to pull off the quick upset, taking the back after a takedown. With his hands not quite positioned, Byrd was forced to wait it out. When he got a bit of space, he reversed position and took mount. Wallace escaped but was muscled back to the canvas.

The momentum shift of the first round didn’t repeat in the second. Byrd (9-4) again charged in and reversed a takedown attempt to land big shots from top position. When Wallace (15-7) gave up his back, he sunk in the choke.

Dawson decimates Diaz, earns contract

Featherweight Grant Dawson ran roughshod over Adrian Diaz before a rear-naked choke at the 1:15 mark of the second round.

Diaz barely survived the first round as Dawson put him on the mat and pounded him. He squeezed a choke in the last seconds of the frame that might have ended the fight if not for the bell.

“I hope that was the performance Dana (White) was looking for,” Dawson said after the win. “I knew what I had to do, and I did it, and I hope I can get a contract.”

He did.

Dawson (12-1) now has won three straight. Diaz (11-5-1) sees a three-fight winning streak snapped.

Olson grinds out Reed for decision upset

Light heavyweight Cameron Olson knew how to take the spring out of Karl Reed’s step.

After taking enough potshots from the bouncy Reed to bloody his nose, Olson made it an ugly grind. He charged in and smothered his opponent against the fence and sapped Reed’s energy in the process.

Spurts of offense from Reed in the early portion of the fight gave way to Olson’s control. In the first round, Olson landed a series of knees to the head. In the second, he slammed Reed and almost got an arm-triangle.

By the third, Olson (7-3) was doing most of the initiation when it came to dictating the direction of the fight. The final scores were 29-28 across the board, bringing an upset as the +225 underdog against Reed (1-1).

“I didn’t get the finish like I wanted to, but I had the gas,” Olson said afterward. “I’m still upset I couldn’t quite get the finish. That’s what I really wanted to do.”

Alvarez survives disastrous third against Day

Flyweight Jamie Alvarez got beat from pillar to post in his final round against Martin Day. But he survived the onslaught, and his work in the first two rounds got him the decision win.

A clearly dissatisfied Alvarez earned scores of 28-27, 29-28 and 29-27 to take the fight. He said afterward that a tough weight-cut left him unable to fight back against Day, who battered his body and landed heavy punches and kicks.

“I know what I’m capable of, and that definitely wasn’t it,” said Alvarez, a veteran of “The Ultimate Fighter 24.”

Alvarez attacked Day’s legs early in an effort to take the sting from the Hawaiian’s big kicks. Toward the end of the opening frame, he traded takedowns with Day and did more damage during his stint in dominant position.

Doubling down on the strategy, Alvarez got an early takedown in the second and threatened chokes from back control, keeping top position despite a scramble effort from Day, who briefly managed to take the back near the end.

Going into the third, it was a close fight. Day (5-2) had put some good hands on Alvarez (7-1) as he shot in, and hadn’t expired when taking ground-and-pound. Alvarez, however, just didn’t have the energy to put up much of a fight and was badly outclassed in the final frame.

Thankfully for him, he’d already built up enough credit with judges.

Colleen snatches victory at last-minute with submission

Women’s strawweight [autotag]Jamie Colleen snatched victory from the jaws of certain defeat, getting a last-minute armbar on Tiffany Masters after getting dominated for much of the bout.

Masters appeared to be well on her way to a decision win when Colleen secured the submission, going belly down to get a verbal tap at the 4:43 mark of the third round.

“This fight means everything to me, and I preach to my daughters never to give up,” Colleen said after improving her professional record to 4-1.

The complete results for Dana White’s Contender Series 6 include:

  • Charles Byrd def. Randall Wallace via submission (rear-naked choke) – Round 1, 2:03
  • Grant Dawson def. Adrian Diaz via submission (rear-naked choke) – Round 2, 1:15
  • Cameron Olson def. Karl Reed via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
  • Jamie Alvarez def. Martin Day via unanimous decision (28-27, 29-28, 29-27)
  • Jamie Colleen def. Tiffany Masters via submission (armbar) – Round 3, 4:43

For more on Dana White’s Contender Series 6, visit the UFC Events page of the site.

Filed under: News, UFC
Source: MMA Junkie

Dana White's Contender Series 6 lineup set with Charles Byrd-Gabriel Checco, first women's bout

The lineup for the sixth edition of Dana White’s Contender Series is set.

UFC officials have revealed the five fights that will be featured at Dana White’s Contender Series 6, which takes place Aug. 15 at The Ultimate Fighter Gym in Las Vegas and streams live on UFC Fight Pass.

For the first time in the series, a women’s fight will take place when Jamie Colleen (3-1) takes on Tiffany Masters (2-0) in a strawweight bout.

In the main event, Charles Byrd (8-4) meets Gabriel Checco (10-2) in a middleweight bout. Additional fights include Grant Dawson (11-1) vs. Adrian Diaz (11-4-1) at middleweight, Cameron Olson (6-3) vs. Karl Reed (2-0) at light heavyweight, and Jamie Alvarez (6-1) vs. Martin Day (5-1) at flyweight.

Byrd gets his second chance at DWCS when he meets Checco. At Dana White’s Contender Series 1 in July, he choked out Jamie Pickett with an arm-triangle – and a violent result. Despite the finish, he didn’t get a contract, so has another shot at it next week. The Legacy FC veteran from Texas has six of his eight career wins by stoppage.

Gabriel Checco

Brazil’s Checco is a five-fight RFA veteran who went 3-2 for that promotion with three stoppages. But he hasn’t fought since a kneebar submission of Adam Stroup at RFA 43 in September 2016, which gave him back-to-back wins.

Masters, from Wisconsin, turned pro in late 2016 after an amateur career of nearly two years. She has stoppages in both her pro fights so far, both under the King of the Cage banner. In March, she submitted Miki Rogers with an anaconda choke in 57 seconds.

Colleen trains with Renzo Gracie on the East Coast. She started her career 3-0 with three knockouts, but in March 2016 dropped a fifth-round TKO to Danielle Taylor in a King of the Cage title fight. Taylor went on to sign with the UFC, where she now is 2-1.

The Dana White’s Contender Series 6 lineup includes:

  • Charles Byrd vs. Gabriel Checco
  • Grant Dawson vs. Adrian Diaz
  • Cameron Olson vs. Karl Reed
  • Jamie Alvarez vs. Martin Day
  • Jamie Colleen vs. Tiffany Masters

For more on Dana White’s Contender Series 6, check out the MMA Rumors section of the site.

Filed under: News, UFC
Source: MMA Junkie