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Dana White’s Tuesday Night Contender Series Week 2 Report (7.18.17)

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Week 2 of Dana White’s Tuesday Night Contender Series is now officially in the books and Frank Anguiano is here to bring you the results and his opinions on what took place last night inside of the one and only TUF gym in Las  Vegas.

Patrick Fitzgerald and UFC Welterweight Paul “The Irish Dragon” Felder are on commentary. There’s also an alternative stream featuring Snoop Dogg and Urijah Faber on commentary. 

Casey Kenney (6-0-1) beat CJ Hamilton (11-4) via unanimous decision (30-27 x 3) in a flyweight bout. Both men came out throwing bombs to start the first round, but about halfway through the round, Kenney emerged as the cleaner, shorter striker, landing both at distance and in close, against the defensively porous Hamilton. “The Autobot” managed to loosen up and landed some nice shots to start the second round, but midway through the round, the Judo black belt Kenney managed to get the takedown and went for a RNC, but couldn’t get it. But he managed to stay on top and pound Hamilton through the round, but looked dog tired by the end. Hamilton did everything he could to let loose and land shots in the 3rd, but Kenney again managed to get the takedown halfway through the end of the round and stay on top to get the decision.

Sidney Outlaw (8-3) beat Michael Cora (4-0) via unanimous decision (29-28 x 2, 29-27) in a welterweight bout. Outlaw came out in the first fifteen seconds and took Cora down with a big slam. Outlaw smothered Cora and slowly took his back and tried to finish him with his trademark RNC, but Cora was able to handfight his way through the end of the round. Cora landed a few shots to start the second, but threw a naked kick that Outlaw caught took him down again. Outlaw took his back again and this time got the choke in, but Cora managed to get through a serious squeeze in the survive the round. Cora came out exhausted, but stuff a first takedown. Outlaw got the second one, but was stood. Cora managed to stuff the third one and pin Outlaw to the ground and land some GNP, but Cora used his smart to survive the round and get the decision.

Thanh Le (6-1) beat Lazar Stojadinovic (12-5) via knockout at 1:35 of the 2nd Round. Le danced around the boxing based Stojadinovic. A body kick from Le nearly resulted from a heel hook from Lazar, but Le escaped. He landed kicks to the body and head at will, but Stojadinovic kept plodding forward. Stojad tried his best to try to close the distance early in the second, but Le finally landed an emphatic head kick and followed with punches and hammerfists to get the stoppage.

Sean O’Malley (7-0) beat Alfred Khashakyan (7-3) via knockout at 4:01 of the 1st Round. Predicted this would be the Fight of the Night and it was. This was a wild one from the start. Khashakyan marched forward Muay Thai style, while O’Malley tried to catch him with fancy counters. Alfred got a takedown in a minute in but just tried to pin him awkwardly to mat and throw GNP rather than try to get on top or pass the guard. O’Malley managed to roll to his feet. Khashakyan went back to his boxing and landed some nice combos, until O’Malley caught him with a counter left. Khashakyan survived and landed shots in return, as O’Malley overshot on a few strikes, but the Montana native finally found the range and landed a big right, and followed up with a huge left to turn out the lights and send Dana White going into a frenzy.

Daniel Spohn (15-4) beat Angel DeAnda via submission at 3:20 of the 1st Round. Despite having a significant size and reach advantage, Spohn chose to stand right in front of DeAnda with his chin up, and DeAnda capitalized by landing several hard rights and forcing several clinches. An overhead right followed by a right uppercut from clinched dropped Spohn and DeAnda jumped on him and you could make a case for a stoppage but ref John McCarthy let it go and DeAnda landed a pair of shots that McCarthy called to the back of the head. They were questionable, but much more egregious rabbit punches have been ignored in the octagon.

McCarthy called a timeout that seemed to go forever and took a point away from DeAnda, but it didn’t matter because Spohn swarmed DeAnda and dropped him with a series of left hooks. DeAnda tried to cover up and stand up, but Spohn took his back. DeAnda blocked an RNC, but Spohn switched to arm triangle and DeAnda tapped out. Crazy, controversial finish for sure. The shots looked behind the ear to me but Urijah Faber called them on the back of the head and so did Big John…

After several long minutes, White chose Sean O’Malley as the winner of UFC contract. He’s the only one for this week. The announcers this week made it clear that there are rules as to how many could get contracts. It could be five, it could be zero. It is totally up to White’s discretion.

Frank’s Take: At first, Sean O’Malley getting the contract really pissed me off. I am not one of these people (like most MMA writers), that are like “F**k the UFC”, “F**k Dana White,” but I felt that in my heart for a long moment. But after rewatching the fight, I understood. It was such a fast paced war that it was hard to see O’Malley smartly finding his range, switching stances, and finding the right shots to finish Khashakyan. Combined that with a great look and a terrific personality, how can I blame the UFC. Especially when I called him the guy to watch in my preview?!

That being said, I thought Thanh Le deserved the contract more. He has improved vastly since his time on TUF and his knockout victory was equally impressive in my eyes, and against a much more seasoned opponent in my book. O’Malley is a great prospect, but he needs some more work, especially on the ground. The first time he fights a Frankie Edgar type guy, he’s done for. Otherwise, Kenney looked good, but not ready. Outlaw didn’t have the best performance, but was entertaining as hell in his post-match interview with Laura Sanko (Roll Tide.) With the controversial nature of the main event, you can’t blame them for not pulling the trigger on Spohn either. With as thin as 205 as, it’s hard to imagine him not getting a shot soon. As for Le, guess he keeps pluggin’ on…

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