Contender Series Week 3:
Week 3 of the 2020 season of Dana White’s Contender Series is now history following Tuesday night’s main attraction at the UFC Apex.
In total, there were five MMA fights on Tuesday night’s show—and of those five fights, three ended in stoppages, making for a stoppage rate of 60 percent.
There have been 14 fights total to this point in 2020 on Contender Series.
Of those 14 fights, eight have ended in stoppages, accounting for a stoppage rate of 57.1 percent all told.
The Fights Themselves: (Contract winners are in italics.)
Kenny Cross vs. Kevin Syler:
Tuesday’s card began with Lightweights as Cross (11-3) and Syler (10-1) battled it out.
These two men were scheduled to have fought on the Aug. 4 Contender Series episode but the fight was called off a few days before the event due to Syler testing positive for COVID-19.
In the first round, Kenny Cross dominated with strikes from the clinch and ground control, landing some ground and pound strikes before the bell.
His dominance continued throughout the second round with more ground control time (the telecast showed that Cross had more than four minutes of ride time in total at one stage of the second round) and some time in the back mount.
Although Cross expended his energy by the third round and the fight went to the scorecards, he won the fight unanimously (30-27, 29-28, 29-28) after 15 minutes of action.
In his post-fight interview with Laura Sanko, Cross admitted that he apologized to Dana White and the matchmakers for not scoring the stoppage in the fight.
Neither fighter won a deal at night’s end.
Josh Parisian vs. Chad Johnson:
The big boys played in the second fight of Tuesday night’s card with a fight between Josh Parisian (13-3) and Chad Johnson (6-2) [no relation to the former NFL wide receiver.]
This was the only fight at 265 lbs. on the evening, but it produced some fireworks.
Parisian stunned Johnson midway through the first round, knocking him down and landing ground and pound strikes before landing more strikes from the mount to score the knockout of Johnson, who had a 50-lb. disadvantage in this fight.
Parisian scored a contract at the end of the show.
Orion Cosce vs. Matt Dixon:
For the first time ever on Contender Series, a pair of siblings each vied for a UFC contract on Tuesday night’s episode as the Cosce brothers, Orion and Louis, appeared on the show.
To add to the intrigue, both men are Welterweights, and both men entered Tuesday night’s card undefeated with a combined 12-0 heading into the UFC Apex.
Orion Cosce (7-0) was first up to bid for a contract as he fought Matt Dixon (9-1.)
Midway through round two, Cosce landed in inadvertent groin strike against Dixon, but the match quickly resumed.
Cosce displayed brilliant ground control and scored the knockout due to ground and pound strikes late in the third round, the seventh finish in as many victories during his career to-date.
Even though Dana White didn’t approve of Cosce stopping fighting in round two, he did give him a deal.
Co-Main Event: Cheyenne Buys vs. Hilarie Rose:
Strawweights took to the cage in Tuesday’s co-main attraction as Buys (5-1,) the wife of Contender Series alum JP Buys, fought Rose (4-2) in this 115-lb. attraction.
Buys led in terms of total strikes through the first two rounds, including a 45-17 edge on head strikes at one stage in round two.
Although Buys attempted a rear-naked choke submission in vain near the end of the match, she won by unanimous decision (30-27 on all three scorecards)—winning a deal at night’s end.
Main Event: Victor Reyna vs. Louis Cosce:
The younger Cosce brother had his turn at a UFC contract as Louis (7-0) took on Victor Reyna (11-5, one no-contest) in your main event of the evening on Tuesday.
Louis Cosce immediately executed a clinch at the start of the match followed up by leg kicks after the clinch.
All it took was a minute and 12 seconds into the first round for Cosce to score a knockout and for the brothers to go 2-0 on the evening.
The brothers exited Tuesday night’s show with a combined 14-0 record and now, both brothers have deals.
The following fighters won contracts on Tuesday night:
So far, out of the 14 fight winners this season, 12 have exited the UFC Apex on Contender Series fight night with UFC deals.
Five of those 12 contract winners already have their UFC debuts booked.