After the premiere episode of Dana White’s Contender Series 2019, Brendan Loughnane was No. 1 on color commentator Paul Felder’s “power rankings,” but that didn’t punch his ticket to the UFC.
Instead, UFC president Dana White announced Punahele Soriano and Yorgan De Castro, who won by unanimous decision and first-round TKO respectively, would be signed by the UFC. DWCS 1 took place Tuesday night at UFC Apex in Las Vegas.
Loughnane, a one-fight UFC veteran, put on an entertaining bout against Bill Algeo, earning a decision victory. The Manchester native especially turned it up in the third round, but went for a takedown with less than 10 seconds left in the fight, in which he was clearly ahead. It sounds like that’s what turned White off and ultimately made him not take Loughnane.
“Great fight,” White said of Loughnane vs. Algeo on the broadcast. “Both durable, tough guys banging it out. I have to give Brendan credit — he fought a guy who’s been a champion in two different (promotions). But let me tell you what you don’t do: you don’t come here, you don’t fight that type of fight, and you don’t go for the double leg with 10 seconds left in the fight.”
White said he is looking for “killers” on DWCS.
“When you get on this show, this is it, this is your opportunity to show me what you have,” White said. “You have to go bell to bell; knockouts, submissions, whatever it is, you have to go for the finish.”
White said Loughnane, 29, will still likely make it to the UFC one day. Loughnane is now riding a three-fight winning streak; his previous two wins were both finishes. Loughnane (16-3) has only lost to UFC veterans: Mike Wilkinson, Tom Duquesnoy, and, most recently, Pat Healy. The Wilkinson fight took place in the UFC in 2012. Loughnane has never been finished.
“I think that this kid is talented, I think he’s got a ton of heart, and I think he’s eventually gonna be in the UFC,” White said. “Just not tonight.”