UFC handed out four more contracts Tuesday night following five fights on TV show “Dana White’s Contender Series.” Contracts were offered to Genaro Valdez, Fernie Garcia, Carlos Hernandez and Mike Malott at the conclusion of the show.
The fights took place at the UFC APEX in Las Vegas, Nevada, USA.
Malott Secures UFC Contract With 39-Second Win
Malott became a no-doubt lock for a UFC contract with his main event win, catching Shimon Smotritsky in the first minute with a guillotine choke. The quick win saw Malott get Smotritsky down early and pull off the choke for the tap.
Malott’s win was only 39 seconds, which is only his third-quickest victory as a pro. He took just over a minute in his previous appearance, defeating CFFC prospect Solomon Renfro in December via rear naked choke.
The bout was Smotritsky’s first pro loss. He entered Tuesday on an undefeated run that included two appearances in Bellator and three stoppage victories.
Hernandez Takes Hard-Fought Decision Win
Former HFC Flyweight Champion Hernandez had a tough fight in the co-main event, prevailing in a close split decision outcome against Daniel Barez.
Barez had more of a wrestling-heavy focus on his game plan, scoring numerous takedowns during the fight. Hernandez succeeded more on the feet by out-landing Barez, but he was also able to take control on the ground and attempt submissions.
The fight extended Hernandez’s winning streak to seven consecutive – a streak he has put together since losing his pro debut in 2017.
Barez entered Tuesday on a long win streak that included appearances in UAE Warriors and Combate Americas.
Garcia Puts Away Fight Early With Strikes
Garcia had a sudden first-round finish win against Joshua Weems, catching him in the second minute with strikes. Garcia first scored a knockdown with a right hook, opening him up to land ground and pound and finish the fight.
The fight ended a streak of going the distance for Garcia. He was booked for the TV show after scoring four consecutive scorecard wins in regional promotion LFA.
Weems’ “Contender Series” fight came after a busy start to 2021, scoring two wins in MMA and one under bare-knuckle MMA rules.
Holmes Continues Submission Streak Against Barnes
Joseph Holmes showed his grappling skills in the second bout, putting away Shonte Barnes with a rear naked choke.
Holmes secured a takedown in the second round and was able to quickly take the back of Barnes for the finish. The win came after a close kickboxing performance in the first round.
Holmes has been on a streak recently, having finished his past three opponents via rear naked choke. That includes a victory he had just two months ago at LFA 114.
Barnes had gone six fights without a loss, finishing five opponents and going to a draw with the other.
Holmes wasn’t offered a UFC contract for his win, although UFC President White mentioned he will attend his bout on a CFFC card next month.
Valdez Prevails In War, Picks Up Second-Round Stoppage
Valdez started the evening with a big win, scoring a second-round stoppage over Patrik White after a short, but hectic battle.
The finish of the fight happened as part of a stand-up exchange. After White came forward with a combination of punches, Valdez stunned him with a left hook and scored a knockdown a moment later with a combination of hooks. The fight was stopped shortly after the knockdown came.
The first round was a hectic battle that saw both fighters land hard shots on the feet.
Valdez clearly hurt White in the fourth minute of the round, charging forward and knocking out his mouthpiece with punches. They later returned to the feet, where White was able to score the better shots and hurt a clearly fatigued Valdez.
Valdez was active with takedown attempts throughout the round, putting White on his back numerous times.
Valdez, an undefeated fighter through 10 fights, has now finished his last five opponents.
White was entering the show after a strong three-fight run in the Alaska regional scene.
Main Card (8:00PM EDT / 5:00PM PDT) (ESPN+ / UFC Fight Pass)
Bout 5: Mike Malott def. Shimon Smotritsky via Submission, Guillotine Choke (RD 1, 0:39)
Bout 4: Carlos Hernandez def. Daniel Barez via Decision, Split
Bout 3: Fernie Garcia def. Joshua Weems via TKO, Strikes (RD 1, 2:10)
Bout 2: Joseph Holmes def. Shonte Barnes via Submission, Rear Naked Choke (RD 2, 2:46)
Bout 1: Genaro Valdez def. Patrik White via TKO, Strikes (RD 2, 0:44)