Most episodes of Dana White’s Contender Series produce more than one UFC contract winner. In fact, almost all of them do.
It’s just the nature of the beast when you have unproven fighters clashing with an opportunity to secure their future in the UFC.
Across five seasons and 46 events, White has only twice — the UFC president whose show is named after — signed a fighter. Then last week’s DWCS 47 opened Season 6, which ended with three out of four fight decisions. Only Joe Pyfer, who knocked out Ozzy Diaz in the second round, got a contract, and his first official UFC appearance is already booked.
Fight night left White feeling a disappointment he hadn’t felt since Season 3 in 2019, when Phil Rowe was the only fighter to earn a contract at DWCS 28.
“This is a huge opportunity for these children. And it’s like, okay, you had a shitty first round. Let’s go to the second round. Let’s go to the third round. I haven’t seen any of that (last week),” White said. “I didn’t see anyone try until Pyfer. Even when their fights were over, no one was too excited. No one thought they delivered tonight. No one acted like they were on to bigger things. I didn’t feel that at all.”
White was particularly disturbed by how the event unfolded as he finally convinced former UFC owner and good friend Lorenzo Fertitta to watch a caged episode at UFC Apex in Las Vegas.
“Do you know how hard it is to get Lorenzo Fertitta out of the house?” said White. “…I said I owed you one.”
Contender Series returns Tuesday night with DWCS 48, and already it’s off to a better start than last week after all 10 fighters put on weight Monday in minutes. Last week, Willian Souza surprisingly went over the 10-pound limit for his bantamweight bout with Farid Basharat, which forced a cancellation by the Nevada Athletic Commission.
Heading into Tuesday night, White’s message couldn’t be clearer.
“We go out, we put all this time and all this effort into finding the most talented unsigned guys in the world, and I don’t care what you did yesterday, two years, throughout your career,” White said. said. “Here, now, show me, show the members of the media who are here and show the rest of the world who you are. Who are you?
“Every night won’t be your night, but damn Tuesday night better be. Tuesday night better be your night.