Dana White’s Tuesday Night Contender Series is back with one of the most anticipated headliners this season has to offer. ‘Notorious’ Nick Newell, who was born with a congenital amputation of his left arm, is looking to prove that he belongs in the UFC.
Featherweight bout: Chase Hooper def. Canaan Kawaihae via unanimous decision (29-26, 29-26, 28-26)
Chase Hooper looked thoroughly outmatched in the first round against Canaan Kawaihae. Kawaihae landed early and often, dropping Hooper and outmuscling him in the clinch, causing Hooper to try and pull guard a few times. Hooper eventually got the fight to the ground, with both fighters scrambling for position until the round ended. Kawaihae came out in the second round looking a little fatigued while Hooper continued to look for the neck. Hooper had Kawaihae pressed against the cage on his butt and got full mount, eventually taking his back and trying for a choke before the bell sounded. Kawaihae came out in the third completely gassed and it wasn’t hard for Hooper to get the fight to the ground. The rest of the round was Hooper switching from being on top in full mount to trying for submissions. It was a fun first fight to kick off the card, but you can tell these fighters are young and green. Chase Hooper will get a developmental contract.
Heavyweight bout: Jeff Hughes def. Josh Appelt via TKO (punch) (R1, 4:26)
Both fighters came out swinging before Appelt went for a single leg but it was stuffed by Hughes. Hughes then answered with the same and took Appelt down. Hughes had Appelt up against the cage and was raining down punches, but the fight got back to the feet. Hughes then landed an uppercut to the tip of Appelt’s nose and he instantly dropped and covered up. Good showing for the heavyweight who trains with Stipe Miocic.
Featherweight bout: Sodiq Yusuff def. Mike Davis via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Two promising featherweights were on display next and Mike Davis’ crisp striking was on display early. Sodiq Yusuff caught Davis with a right that dropped and hurt him, Davis had to shoot and go for a takedown. The pace seemed to slow down in round two after the shots both fighters took in round one, caution couldn’t be thrown to the wind anymore. Yusuff’s calf kicks were the factor in round two, as he used them to set up his punches and win the round. The third was more of Yusuff attacking Davis’ lead leg, keeping him at bay and controlling the round. Sodiq Yusuff is a big featherweight who will be a fun addition to the UFC.
Light Heavyweight bout: Jim Crute def. Chris Birchler via TKO (punch) (R1, 4:23)
Jim Crute came out aggressive, landing combos and leg kicks but seemed frustrated that Birchler didn’t stop coming forward. Birchler was landing the more significant strikes, damaging up Crute’s face, but towards the end of the round, Crute landed a huge left that stumbled Birchler backwards and had him out on his feet.
Lightweight bout: Alex Munoz def. Nick Newell via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
The first round of this fight saw a few takedowns by Munoz, one off a flying knee from Newell that landed. Newell landed a lot of leg kicks and kept the pressure throughout the round. The second round saw Newell go for a kick which Munoz telegraphed and caught him with a right that rocked Newell and brought him to the ground. Munoz then controlled the rest of the round using his wrestling. Newell needed a finish in the third and after some back and forth Munoz shot for a double leg and Newell nearly locked in his trademark guillotine choke. Munoz was able to survive and finish the round in top position.