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

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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.

MMAjunkie Radio broadcasts Monday-Friday at 1 p.m. ET (10 a.m. PT) live from Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino’s Race & Sports Book. The show is hosted by “Gorgeous” George Garcia and producer Brian “Goze” Garcia. For more information or to download past episodes, go towww.mmajunkie.com/radio.

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

Watch MMAjunkie Radio here (1 p.m. ET) with UFC signee Joby Sanchez

Filed under: News, UFC, Videos

MMAjunkie Radio kicks off today at 1 p.m. ET (10 a.m. PT) with guest Joby Sanchez.

Sanchez earlier this week picked up a big win at Dana White’s Contender Series 7 to earn his second UFC contract. Now he waits to find out when he’ll make his official return to the promotion. We’ll also talk about the latest MMA news, including Jon Jones’ second positive drug test notification.

MMAjunkie Radio airs from 1 to 3 p.m. ET (10 a.m. to noon PT), live from Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino in Las Vegas. You can watch and listen live on MMAjunkie’s Facebook and YouTube pages. Additionally, SiriusXM Rush (Ch. 93) carries a replay later in the day (8-10 p.m. ET) and the following morning (7-9 a.m. ET), or catch a replay on demand.

MMAjunkie Radio listener guide:

  • HOW TO WATCH (ON WEB): Watch a live stream on MMAjunkie’s Facebook or YouTube pages.
  • HOW TO CALL: MMAjunkie Radio takes phone calls from listeners throughout the show. Call into the MMAjunkie Radio hotline at (866) 522-2846.
  • HOW TO DISCUSS: The MMAjunkie MMA Forums has a section devoted solely to MMAjunkie Radio. Stop by the MMAjunkie Radio forum to discuss the show, interact with the hosts, suggest future guests and catch up on the latest MMAjunkie Radio news.
  • HOW TO VISIT THE SHOW: You can watch MMAjunkie Radio live and in person at the Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino on the world-famous Las Vegas Strip. The booth is located in the resort’s Race & Sports Book next to the Mandalay Bay poker room. To plan a trip to Sin City and MMAjunkie Radio, go to www.mandalaybay.com.

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

Dana White's Contender Series 7 results: Joby Sanchez, Benito Lopez headed to UFC

Another two fighters are heading to the UFC courtesy of this summer’s inaugural run of Dana White’s Contender Series.

On Tuesday’s seventh episode of the show, UFC President Dana White awarded contracts to flyweight Joby Sanchez (11-2 MMA, 1-2 UFC) and bantamweight Benito Lopez (8-0) for their wins, which streamed live on UFC Fight Pass from The Ultimate Fighter Gym in Las Vegas.

Sanchez is no stranger to the UFC, but his first stint with the promotion resulted in a 1-2 record over a 16-month period between 2014-15. His win Tuesday was actually his second in this current DWCS run – he picked up a decision win over Manny Vazquez on the first episode of the show, but didn’t get a contract.

On Tuesday, though, he finished J.P. Buys (4-2) with a second-round TKO, making him 4-0 since the UFC let him go after a TKO loss to Geane Herrera in late 2015. Now the Jackson-Winkeljohn MMA-trained fighter will get another crack at the big show.

And Lopez, a Team Alpha Male fighter, improved to 8-0 for his pro career when he took a split decision from Steven Peterson (15-6), a Bellator, Legacy FC and LFA veteran. Going the distance snapped a string of six straight first-round finishes for the 23-year-old, but he likely won’t care much about that since it netted him a UFC deal.

Three other fighters picked up wins Tuesday: Kennedy Nzechukwu (3-0) took a split decision from Anton Berzin (5-2) in the main event; Mike Santiago (19-9) knocked out Mark Cherico (11-2) in the first round; and Jordan Espinosa (11-5) submitted Nick Urso (10-4) in the first. But their wins weren’t enough to trump Sanchez and Lopez – though White said the decision was a hard one.

Dana White’s Contender Series 7 results:

  • Kennedy Nzechukwu def. Anton Berzin via unanimous decision (29-27, 28-29, 29-27)
  • Benito Lopez def. Steven Peterson via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
  • Joby Sanchez def. J.P. Buys via TKO (punches) – Round 2, 2:28
  • Mike Santiago def. Mark Cherico via knockout (punches) – Round 1, 2:59
  • Jordan Espinosa def. Nick Urso via technical submission (D’Arce choke) – Round 1, 1:23

For more on Dana White’s Contender Series 7, visit 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

'Dana White's Contender Series' Week 1 results: Kurt Holobaugh KOs Matt Bessette in headliner

LAS VEGAS – Kurt Holobaugh was triumphant in the Week 1 main event of “Dana White’s Tuesday Night Contender Series” when he starched Matt Bessette for a first-round knockout.

The event, which streamed on UFC Fight Pass at The Ultimate Fighter Gym in Las Vegas, saw Holobraugh (18-4) come out on fire, putting on good striking work to Bessette’s (22-8) head and body. The assault continued as time wore on, and after a few minutes the result was imminent.

Holobraugh caught Bessette with a perfect counter right hand, which immediately sent his opponent crashing face-first to the canvas, causing referee John McCarthy to step in halt the action at the 2:59 mark of Round 1.

Anyanwu scores big KO, confronts Dana White

The heavyweights delivered a violent finish when Azunna Anyanwu ended Greg Rebello’s night with a nasty series of punches for the second-round knockout.

After touching each other up on the feet with hard shots over the opening round, the action spilled over into the second but started to sway in Anyanwu’s favor. Finally a left hand connected flush on Rebello’s chin, and Anyanwu swarmed with follow-up shots for the stoppage at 3:04 of Round 2.

Immediately after the fight, Anyanwu went to the side of the octagon where UFC President Dana White was seated and pleaded for him to offer an official UFC contract.

Salmon’s superior striking gets it done

Boston Salmon (5-1) didn’t get the finish, but he put in a largely dominant performance against Ricky Turcios (8-1) to earn a unanimous decision by scores of 30-27, 30-27 and 29-28.

Salmon’s striking was the key to victory in the lightweight bout. He kept his opponent at his desired range and picked his shots in a convincing manner over the course of 15 minutes to hand Turcios his first career loss.

Byrd earns scary submission of Pickett

Charles Byrd (8-4) choked out Jamie Pickett (6-3) in frightening fashion in the opening round of their middleweight bout to earn his fourth victory in his past five fights.

Byrd found his way into top position late in the first round and locked in an arm-triangle choke, which put Pickett unconscious and caused him to convulse on the canvas for several seconds after the referee halted the action at the 4:55 mark.

Fortunately, Byrd returned to his feet and left the octagon under his own power.

Sanchez rallies for decision nod

Joby Sanchez (10-2) earned the first victory in the history of “Dana White’s Tuesday Night Contender Series” when he rallied to defeat Manny Vazquez (9-3) in their flyweight bout.

After getting dropped and nearly submitted in the first round, Sanchez turned up the heat with his grappling in the second frame. He carried that momentum into the third to get the nod on all the judges’ scorecards.

Complete Dana White’s Contender Series: Week 1 results included:

  • Kurt Holobraugh def. Matt Bessette via knockout (punch) – Round 1, 2:59
  • Azunna Anyanwu def. Greg Rebello via knockout (puches) – Round 2, 3:04
  • Boston Salmon def. Ricky Turcios via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)
  • Charles Byrd def. Jamie Pickett via submission (arm-triangle choke) – Round 1, 4:55
  • Joby Sanchez def. Manny Vazquez via unanimous decision (29-27, 29-27, 29-27)

For more on “Dana White’s Contender Series: Week 1,” check out the MMA Events section of the site.

Filed under: News, UFC
Source: MMA Junkie

5-fight lineup revealed for 'Dana White's Tuesday Night Contender Series' premiere

The fight card is set for the premiere of “Dana White’s Tuesday Night Contender Series,” and it features a mix of former UFC fighters, journeyman and hot prospects.

In the first episode, which airs July 11 on UFC Fight Pass, three UFC veterans – Joby Sanchez, Justin Jones and Kurt Holobaugh – are among those vying for a chance to get back with the industry leader.

Holobaugh (17-4 MMA, 0-1 UFC), whose lone appearance with the promotion came in a 2013 loss at UFC 159, will face CES MMA champion Matt Bessette (22-7 MMA, 0-0 UFC) in a featherweight bout. Bessette enters on a seven-fight winning streak, with five in CES and two in Bellator. Holobaugh comes in on a three-fight winning streak, all with Titan FC. Both men scored TKO wins in their most recent fights in May.

Sanchez (9-2 MMA, 1-2 UFC) faces 23-year-old Manny Vasquez (11-2 MMA, 0-0 UFC) in a flyweight bout between prospects. Sanchez, 25, has back-to-back wins since parting from the UFC following a 2015 loss to Geanne Herrera. Vasquez is hoping to make a strong impression after a successful Bellator debut in March at Bellator 175, where he beat Nate Williams via unanimous decision.

A heavyweight bout between a pair of 35-year-olds is also on the card, with Greg Rebello vs. Azunna Anyanwu. Rebello (22-7 MMA, 0-0 UFC) has won six of last seven, including two straight this year by submission and TKO. Anyanwu (13-4 MMA, 0-0 UFC) is riding the wave of a four-fight winning streak, with his most recent victory coming by way of TKO in February.

The fights on the show will take place at The Ultimate Fighter gym in Las Vegas. But unlike the fights on the “TUF” reality series that take place in the gym, these fights will be fully regulated by the Nevada State Athletic Commission – meaning all the fights count toward the fighters’ records.

The full card includes:

For more on the UFC’s upcoming schedule, stay tuned to the UFC Rumors section of the site.

Filed under: News
Source: MMA Junkie