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LAS VEGAS – Tuesday night, five more fighters picked up wins at Dana White’s Contender Series – and then had to deal with the nervous wait to find out if their victories were good enough to earn UFC contracts.
Each Tuesday during the weekly UFC Fight Pass-streamed event series, five fights take place at The Ultimate Fighter Gym in Las Vegas. They feature UFC hopefuls – with both up-and-comers and veterans hoping to hold on to the dream. But not everyone is guaranteed a contract, even with a victory.
On Tuesday, at Dana White’s Contender Series 5, five winners – Julio Arce, Shelton Graves, Alex Perez, Mike Rodriguez and Ricky Simon – gathered backstage to await their fates, and MMAjunkie was there to capture the anxiety-filled moments and eventual verdicts.
This week’s edition of “The Wait” featured some loose moments from Rodriguez, who talked about spending his $10,000 fight and win bonus on a beach vacation, and Julio Arce, who wanted to make sure someone got a picture of him with his four fellow winners to commemorate the occasion. But Simon was stoic and Perez quietly hopeful. And when the call didn’t come for Graves, his girlfriend joined him backstage to help start the cheering-up process.
Ultimately, the call did come for Perez and Rodriguez, who got first-round stoppage wins and impressed White enough to earn UFC contracts.
Check out the backstage video footage above.