All five winners at this week’s “Dana White’s Contender Series” event earned UFC contracts by the end of the episode. Chris Duncan, Vinicius Salvador, Francis Marshall, Waldo Cortes-Acosta, and Billy Goff were all offered contracts on Tuesday night.
The result was a massive change from last week’s season premiere, where just one fighter was signed to the UFC roster after four fights occurred.
“We’re back. Order has been restored on the ‘Contender Series,'” said UFC President Dana White following the episode. White notoriously gave an incensed speech last week, pleading with fighters to show a more explosive style on the show.
Duncan Earns Comeback To Stop Campbell In The First
Chris Duncan made a quick comeback in his main event appearance, going from being stopped to finish Charlie Campbell with punches.
Duncan was hurt by punches from Campbell early in their fight. After being dropped for the second time by strikes from Campbell, Duncan returned to his feet to land a right cross knockdown.
Duncan knocked Campbell out with a ground and pound shot just seconds after.
The win Tuesday was retribution for Duncan, as he was competing in the “Contender Series” for the second time. His previous fight, an appearance in 2021, saw him get stopped by Viacheslav Borschev.
Duncan bounced back from that defeat on the regional scene earlier this year, beating Jonathan Carlos on scorecards.
Salvador Drops Ross Three Times For Finish Win
The explosive striking skills of Vinicius Salvador earned him a contract on Tuesday night, finishing Shannon Ross late in the second round with strikes.
Salvador first stunned Ross with a right hook. He then followed up with a left hook to the hurt Ross, then he scored with another right hook to knock him down and end the fight.
Salvador succeeded prior to the finish as well, connecting with a pair of knockdowns in the first round as well.
Salvador, a flyweight, has now won four consecutive fights via finishes.
Ross was competing for the first time since 2020. His prior appearance was a win on a UAE Warriors card.
Marshall Puts On Solid Performance Over Matthews
Francis Marshall scored the sole decision victory on the card, showing a well-rounded set of skills throughout his three-round performance against Connor Matthews.
Marshall constantly pressed forward with punches in all three rounds of the fight. He connected with his lead jab and often followed it up with a right cross punch as well.
Marshall utilized his grappling skills periodically too, taking Matthews down many times during the fight.
Marshall has now earned six wins since turning pro in late 2019.
Matthews was coming off a strong run in Brave CF, earning a three-fight streak of finish wins from 2020 to 2021.
Heavyweight Cortes-Acosta Finishes Suzart Early
Undefeated Waldo Cortes-Acosta added another finish to his record on Tuesday night, finishing Danilo Suzart in the opening round with strikes.
Costes-Acosta applied pressure with his punches from the very start, dictating the pace of the battle. He dropped Suzart to the ground with a right hook while exiting the clinch, setting up for the finishing sequence.
On the ground, Cortes-Acosta landed ground and pound shots to end the bout.
Cortes-Acosta now has a flawless record of six wins. He has previously appeared in notable promotions Bellator and LFA.
Suzart got the “Contender Series” call after a big win on the regional scene, becoming the first ARES FC Heavyweight Champion with a win over Benjamin Sehic.
CES Talent Goff Earns First-Round Finish Win
CES two-division champion Billy Goff scored the first finish of the night, stopping Shimon Smotritsky in the first round with a series of punches.
Goff unloaded with punches against a shelled-up Smotritsky for an extended period of time, continuing to connect with these blows until a knockdown was scored. The fight was stopped just seconds after.
Goff had to battle past adversity just seconds in the fight. He ate a head kick only moments into the bout, dropping him briefly. He was quick to recover, getting back up to his feet and later securing a win.
Goff earned a pair of belts in CES earlier this year, competing twice within a month to earn the titles.
Smotritsky was returning to the “Contender Series.” His previous bout was in 2021 when he was submitted in 39 seconds by Mike Malott.
Main Card (8:00PM EDT / 5:00PM PDT) (ESPN+ / UFC Fight Pass Canada)
Bout 5: Chris Duncan def. Charlie Campbell via TKO, Strikes (RD 1, 1:43)
Bout 4: Vinicius Salvador def. Shannon Ross via TKO, Strikes (RD 2, 4:22)
Bout 3: Francis Marshall def. Connor Matthews via Decision, Unanimous
Bout 2: Waldo Cortes-Acosta def. Danilo Suzart via TKO, Strikes (RD 1, 3:40)
Bout 1: Billy Goff def. Shimon Smotritsky via TKO, Strikes (RD 1, 3:37)