Dana White’s Contender Series 5 is in the books, as 2 contracts were given out for a 1st round KO and a 1st round submission. Mike Rodriguez got his UFC ticket punched following a sensational flying knee knockout of Jamelle Jones in just 2:15 of round 1. Alex Perez also earned his shot at the UFC with a technical submission (his opponent went to sleep) of Kevin Gray in a sporty 2:54. Although they were not awarded a UFC contract, Julio Arce stopped Peter Petties with strikes in the 2nd round, and Shelton Graves finished Everett Sims by TKO in the 3rd.
Mike Rodriguez def. Jamelle Jones by KO (flying knee and punches) at 2:15 of round 1: Light Heavyweights
There was a ton of mutual respect on display as both light heavyweights showed a great deal of caution to begin their bout. Out of nowhere, Mike Rodriguez decided to go for it, and threw a 205 pound flying knee as Jamelle Jones ducked in for a takedown. Jones hit the deck and and a follow up ground strike from Rodriguez sealed the deal in just 2:15 of the opening round.
Julio Arce def. Peter Petties by TKO (punches) at 2:39 of round 2: Featherweights
Julio Petties connected on a couple punches to open the bout, but the fight quickly evolved into a war of attrition in the clinch, up against the fence. Arce disengaged from the inside, but a Petties takedown attempt pushed the fight back up against the cage. Petties scored with a spinning elbow followed by some clean punches, which led to him disengaging from the cage. Arce came out with a sense of urgency to begin the second frame, winging heavy punches in his opponent’s direction. Arce connected with a jarring right hand as Petties’ back was to the cage, and followed up with fists of fury in great quantity. A wobbly Petties fell to the canvas, and Arce continued to pour on the heat, forcing the referee to step in.
Alex Perez def. Kevin Gray by technical submission (Anaconda choke) at 2:54 of round 1: Flyweights
Alex Perez came out like a man possessed, throwing crisp combinations at Kevin Gray, with terrible intentions and descent pressure. Perez landed a stinging right hand that seemed to hurt Gray, resulting into a bit of a sloppy shot. Perez took full advantage of the situation and seamlessly rolled into an Anaconda Choke, rendering Gray unconscious in just seconds.
Ricky Simon def. Donavon Frelow by split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28): Bantamweights
Frelow came out hyper aggressive, as expected, but Simon was able to weather the early onslaught, and pick up several brief takedowns that slowed down the pace of the fight. Both flyweights flurried in the closing moments of the opening round, but Simon wisely secured a last second takedown that may have iced the round. Simon achieved a beautiful slam to open the second stanza, but in true flyweight fashion, Frelow sprung right back to his feet. Frelow appeared to be finding some sort of rhythm with his striking, but Simon disrupted his timing well another brief takedown. A couple hooks landed for Frelow in the final minute of round 2, making it a tough frame to score. Frelow landed a laser right cross to open up the final round, which enticed Simon to close the distance and pick up yet another brief takedown. Simon landed a crisp right hand as his opponent’s back was to the cage, but Frelow responded with a mean flurry, landing a stiff uppercut. Simon pressed forward with hard rights, but the counter punching of Frelow was there to answer him back. Simon crashed his way on the inside, picked up a few more takedowns, and finished the fight in top position.
Shelton Graves def. Everett Sims by TKO (strikes) at 2:20 of round 3: Heavyweights
Graves closed the distance right away, and pressed Sims up against the fence, where he eventually realized the takedown. Sims would scramble back to his feet, but struggled to get his back off of the cage. Sims locked up a Kimora lock and dropped to his back in an attempt to finish, but Graves was content to sit on top and punch the body with his free hand. Once out of the submission hold, Graves was free to uncork a bit more ground and pound before the round expired. Sims found his back to the cage early on in the second frame, followed by an ill-advised Guillotine attempt that led to Graves earning top position. Graves would stay busy with his unanswered ground strikes, while Sims remained on his knees in fetal mode, simply covering up and absorbing the low impact blows until the bell sounded. The final round saw another quick takedown for Graves, but this time it was in the center of the Octagon. Graves continued on with his unanswered ground attack, without much intelligent defending going on for Sims, prompting the referee to call a halt to the bout.