Originally published at https://www.postwrestling.com/2020/08/11/dana-whites-contender-series-five-contracts-handed-out/
Week 2 of Dana White’s Contender Series takes place from the UFC APEX in Las Vegas, Nevada on Tuesday featuring five fights with UFC contracts at stake for the top performers on the show.
Dan Hellie and Paul Felder are calling the fight while Laura Sanko will handle the interviews and ring announcing.
*Impa Kasanganay def. Anthony Adams by unanimous decision (29-27 all)
*T.J. Laramie def. Daniel Swain by TKO (doctor’s stoppage) at 5:00 of Round 1
*Cory McKenna def. Vanessa Demopoulos by unanimous decision ( 30-27, 29-28, 29-28)
*Adrian Yanez def. Brady Huang by TKO at 0:39 of Round 1
*Dustin Stoltzfus def. Joe Pyfer by TKO (injury) at 4:21 of Round 1
ANTHONY ADAMS (8-1, 184.5) vs. IMPA KASANGANAY (6-0, 185)
Adams is 32 years old with the Elevation Fight Team and a veteran of the Sparta Combat League out of Colorado. He last fought in January 2019 for LFA. He previously appeared on the Contender Series in August 2019 losing a split decision to Chibwikem Onyenegecha.
Kasanganay is 26 and made his pro debut in January 2019. He had four fights in 2019 before appearing on the Contender Series in July that year where he earned a decision victory against Kailan Hill.
In the first round, it was a close one, but Adams appeared to improve his timing as the round wore on. Adams was firing off kicks and going for leg kicks as well as connecting with a right hand. 10-9 Adams
The second round was very strong for Kasanganay, who was constantly going to the body with strikes. Kasanganay stunned him with a shot and piled on the volume before a takedown and clinching with Adam on the fence. 10-9 Kasanganay
Round three was another big round for Kasanganay, who instantly hit a front kick to the face of Adams. Kasanganay took him down against the fence and punished Adams with strikes to the head and repeated knees to the body. There was a low strike that forced a pause in the action while Adams recovered. 10-8 Kasanganay and 29-27 overall
WINNER: IMPA KASANGANAY BY UNANIMOUS DECISION (29-27 all)
Impa Kasanganay looked very good and composed throughout the fight with two solid rounds for the decision victory. He outstruck Adams 64-3 in the final round.
The biggest gripe for this show is that decision victories rarely lead to the contract offers but Kasanganay looked ready and has lots of growth ahead of him with seven pro fights after tonight.
T.J. LARAMIE (11-3, 146) vs. DANIEL SWAIN (20-9-1, 145.5) – FEATHERWEIGHT
Laramie is 22 years old and is fighting out of Windsor, Ontario in Canada. He is a five-year veteran having won six of his last seven fights with the PFC and TKO organizations. He has won his last three fights and last competed in December where he earned a decision over Andrew Cruz.
Swain is 29 years old but has 30 professional fights going back to 2010 when he started his career. Since May 2018, he has been fighting for M-1 Challenge and is coming off back-to-back victories although hasn’t fought since August 2019, which was a twenty-eight-second submission of Xialong Wu.
Outside of a few submission attempts by Swain off his back, the first round was dominated by Laramie from the top position. The Canadian dropped elbows and was relentless on top outstriking 57-11 in the round. 10-8 Laramie
The doctor checked on Swain and the fight was waved off. Swain was clutching the right side of the rib cage.
WINNER: T.J. Laramie by TKO at 5:00 of Round 1 (doctor’s stoppage)
Laramie had a heartbreaking story losing his mother and older brother within a couple of months of each other in 2005. Today would have been his mother’s birthday.
Laramie looked great and has been well-known in Canada for years. He withstood the submission threats but remained calm and stayed intense with his top game pressure that withheld the need for a second round.
VANESSA DEMOPOULOS (5-1, 116) vs. CORY McKENNA (4-1, 116) – STRAWWEIGHT
Demopoulos is 31 years old, who has won her previous four fights for LFA. She is coming off a win on July 17th over Sam Hughes with a fourth-round inverted triangle choke to win the vacant LFA Strawweight title.
McKenna is 21 years old and has fought exclusively for Cage Warriors making her debut in March 2018. She began fighting amateur at 15 years of age and turned pro at 18. She is originally from Wales and trains with Team Alpha Male. They interviewed Urijah Faber prior to the fight.
The first round didn’t have much action as McKenna appeared to land with something causing Demopoulos to go down. From there, McKenna worked in her guard for the duration while Demopoulos attempted to use her rubber guard but failed to apply a submission off her back. 10-9 McKenna
The second round saw Demopoulos land an overhand right. McKenna landed on top of her as they were clinching and worked from half-guard until Demopoulos recovered full guard. Demopoulos threatened with a triangle but lost the submission and McKenna finished the round from behind her. 10-9 Demopoulos
The third round was the best of the three with Demopoulos doing a cartwheel for no apparent reason. McKenna landed on top in half-guard and started piling up shots until Demopoulos went for a desperation armbar that she lost. They ended the fight standing and trading with Demopoulos landing at the end. Great round. 10-9 McKenna and 29-28 for her overall
WINNER: CORY McKENNA BY UNANIMOUS DECISION (30-27, 29-28, 29-28)
I don’t anticipate McKenna receiving a contract and could benefit from more experience before entering the UFC. She pressured Demopoulos on top in each round and was able to defend the various submission attempts. At 21 years of age, there is no rush.
BRADY HUANG (11-1, 135.5) vs. ADRIAN YANEZ (10-3, 135.5) – BANTAMWEIGHT
Huang is 27 years old and his only loss is to current UFC fighter Martin Day in August 2018. Since that loss, Huang has rattled off three wins and last competed in February for Pancrase.
Yanez is from Texas and is the son of a boxer, who died over the past year. He previously fought for Bellator in 2016 defeating Ryan Hollis. He has also fought for LFA including his most recent fight in November of last year defeating Kyle Estrada by split decision.
Yanez cracked him with a left hook and followed up with a combination as referee Jason Herzog waved it off with Huang standing.
WINNER: ADRIAN YANEZ BY TKO AT 0:39 OF ROUND 1
This will virtually guarantee a contract for Yanez with a breath-taking left hook that cracked Huang. These are the types of fights and performances they encourage and reward on the Contender Series and Yanez looked excellent in the brief time we got to see him tonight.
Yanez told Dana White “Help me quit my day job, that’s me on part-time”.
This was a great performance.
Yanez broke down crying when Laura Sanko brought up his father being proud of that performance and his striking.
JOE PYFER (7-1, 185.5) vs. DUSTIN STOLTZFUS (12-1, 184.5) – MIDDLEWEIGHT
Pyfer is 23 and comes from Ring of Combat where his last four fights occurred. He bounced back from a submission loss and defeated Chase Gamble this past February. He was the middleweight champion for both Ring of Combat and Art of War.
Stoltzfus is 28 years old and pulled off a Twister submission in his last fight against Nihad Nasufovic last November. He’s been fighting since November 2014, lost his fourth pro fight, and been unbeaten since July 2015. This is his first fight outside of his home country of Germany (he was born in Pennsylvania but considers himself German having lived there since 2012).
The two were trading leg kicks in the early going and then Pyfer took it to the ground with a takedown. Stoltzfus recovered full guard and grabbed hold of the leg, which Pyfer escaped from. While Pyfer wrapped his arm for a guillotine, Stoltzfus lifted and slammed Pyfer down and while going down posted on his arm, which proceeded to snap in a gruesome and graphic sequence. Referee Mark Smith immediately identified what occurred and waved off the fight.
WINNER: Dustin Stoltzfus by TKO (due to injury) at 4:21 of Round 1
This was a gruesome-looking injury with the way the arm bent and Stoltzfus recognized it immediately and stopped. Referee Mark Smith handled this as well as you could ask for and immediately identified the problem and ended the fight. Hopefully, the injury is not as bad as it looked for Pyfer.
DANA WHITE’S VERDICT
After the fights, Dana White revealed to Laura Sanko that he was giving a contract to Impa Kasanganay and he has agreed to fight on the Fight Night card on August 22nd.
He also handed a contract out to T.J. Laramie.
He said they debated over Cory McKenna and White is on the fence with her because she is young but he just got back from vacation and is in a good mood, so she gets a contract.
Adrian Yanez was a slam dunk and was given a deal.
Finally, Dustin Stoltzfus was just getting going and was enjoying his fight and he’s in the UFC, so five contracts were handed out.