It took Josh Quinlan 13 strikes and 47 seconds to earn a UFC contract.
Quinlan was 5-0 with five stoppage wins heading into his ‘Dana White Contender Series’ (DWCS) matchup opposite Logan Urban in September 2021.
Quinlan opened with a leg kick, but that was just an appetizer for the riotous right hand that followed. That punch put Urban on wobbly stems. Sensing the finish was near, Quinlan attacked. The onslaught of strikes he unleashed brought referee Mike Beltran in with under a minute expired to save Urban from additional damage.
Daniel Cormier, who was on the commentary call for the card, said of Quinlan, “My goodness, you want to make a statement, you do that.”
What was notable about the knockout was, despite the brevity of the contest, Quinlan didn’t rush. For a competitor with only five previous fights, he showed restraint, patience and the ability to find openings.
During the replay of the fight, the camera caught UFC president Dana White leaning back in his seat, and while there was no sound on that feed, White clearly mouthed, “holy s-it” moments after Quinlan’s right hand shook Urban.
A UFC deal was a forgone conclusion the minute that right landed to the side of Urban’s head.
When awarding the contracts after the event, White held up his notes to UFC commentator Laura Sanko and asked her if she could see his notes on Quinlan. She replied, “I can’t say that on TV, but I can read it.”
White went on to say of Quinlan, “You couldn’t have a better debut, kid. Congratulations, come over here and get your contract.”
Some of the glow came off Quinlan’s victory six weeks later when the Nevada Athletic Commission overturned Quinlan’s victory to a no contest after a failed drug test. According to MMA Junkie, Quinlan tested positive for the banned substance drostanolone, which is an anabolic steroid. Quinlan was also suspended for nine months and fined $795.36.
Despite the positive test, the UFC kept Quinlan under contract. He makes his UFC debut on the UFC Vegas 59 prelims opposite the much more experienced Jason Witt. Witt, a member of the UFC roster since 2020, is 2-3 with the promotion and 19-8 overall. His most recent fight was a February knockout setback to Phil Rowe. All of Witt’s losses have come via stoppage (six KO, 2 subs) and that might be one reason Quinlan is favored in the welterweight scrap.
In the lead up to the fight, Quinlan acknowledged his failed drug test, while looking forward to his UFC debut.
“I just want to be an example not just for my victories, not just an example of victories and people seeing that but an example of someone being honest or someone that takes responsibility for their actions,” Quinlan told KHON2. “I’m blessed with people around me that believe in me and see the real me that don’t judge me on one decision and for the people that see me and see that decision, I just want to say that grow from these situations and don’t let one situation define you. I’m not going to let even let this fight define me. I’m growing every day, I’m getting better. I’m looking to make this debut and become another solid name for Hawaii.”