The 7th season of Dana White’s Contender Series began last night and it resulted in five new fighters joining the UFC roster.
That meant every winner on the card was granted a place on the roster, though only one of them managed to find a finish inside the distance.
That man was Tom Nolan, who took just 83 seconds to knock out Bogdan Grad, initially flooring him with a big left hook before following up with another on the canvas to seal the deal.
Former kickboxer Cesar Almeida also looked good in the main event as he showed off a very capable grappling game to thwart Lucas Fernando’s attempts to beat him on the mat, leading to a convincing unanimous decision victory (30-26, 29-28, 29-27).
Ciao Machado earned a clean sweep on the scorecards against Kevin Szaflarski, but truth be told it wasn’t a good fight and his opponent showed little desire to earn a contract.
Also earning UFC contracts was Payton Talbott, who didn’t get off to the best start but then poured on relentless offensive pressure to beat Reyes Cortez Jr by unanimous decision (29-28 x3), while Kevin Borjas won by the same margin against Victor Dias, who was able to get the better of the action on the feet against an increasingly weary opponent.
Check out all the results from last night’s Contender Series season opener below.
Contender Series 7 Episode 1
Cesar Almeida defeated Lucas Fernando via unanimous decision (30-26, 29-28, 29-27)
Tom Nolan defeated Bogdan Grad via KO, Round 1 – 1:23
Caio Machado defeated Kevin Szaflarski via unanimous decision (30-27 x3)
Payton Talbott defeated Reyes Cortez Jr. via unanimous decision (29-28 x3)
Kevin Borjas defeated Victor Dias via unanimous decision (29-28 x3)