UFC president Dana White explained why he gave a losing fighter on the Contender Series a UFC contract, the first time he has done so.
On Tuesday night at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas, Nevada, the fifth season of DWCS began and the card was fantastic as there were four fights and five contracts handed out. The big winners on the night were AJ Fletcher, a Dustin Poirier training partner who scored a crazy flying knee KO; Azamat Murzakanov, who scored a first-round KO; and Joanderson Brito, who showed off incredible submission defense in a technical decision win over Diego Lopes.
The other fight, however, was very controversial as most people watching thought that flyweight Carlos Candelario did enough to beat Victor Altamirano. However, the judges awarded Altamirano a split decision. White, though, felt that Candelario deserved to win the fight so, for the first time in DWCS history, he gave a UFC contract to a losing fighter.
Dana White says he thought Carlos Candelario won the fight against Victor Altamirano. I agree with Dana, who just signed both fighters! #DWCS
— Adam Martin (@MMAdamMartin) September 1, 2021
“It was the right thing to do. I felt like that kid (Candelario) won. I thought he won the fight 2-1, but the judges gave it to the other kid (Altamirano), and listen, he took the fight on two weeks’ notice. I respect that, but the other kid fought his ass off and did what you do when you know a kid took a fight on two weeks’ notice. He kept the pressure on him, did everything he could to try and win the fight, so (I) gave them both a shot,” White said (via MMAjunkie.com).
“I think it was rare. Listen, there’s probably gonna be other situations during the season where I think the judges are wrong, and I would probably go the other way. Or at least give the kid another shot to come back and do it again. We know we’ve all walked out some nights saying that was a horrible decision. I’m not gonna say there won’t be another one of those. If they do, I’ll do everything I can to make it right.”
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