Following another action packed week of fights, Dana White's Tuesday Night Contender Series rolls on with another stacked card featuring 10 of the top prospects in the sport looking for a shot in the UFC.
This week's card features several experienced veterans including a former UFC light heavyweight in Daniel Jolly, as well as a past cast member from The Ultimate Fighter, as Jason Jackson returns to the Octagon for the first time since participating in the season featuring American Top Team vs. The Blackzilians.
Weight classes from light heavyweight all the way down to featherweight will be represented on the latest card, as these fighters all look to make an impact and perhaps, more importantly, make a good impression when they compete on Tuesday night.
With that said, let's take a look at the matchups for week three in Dana White's Tuesday Night Contender Series
Light heavyweights Ryan Spann and Karl Roberson will close the card on Tuesday night as each of them will try to catch the eye of UFC President Dana White in a matchup with fireworks written all over it.
Spann (10-4) has a ton of experience under his belt, as he’s taken on several top prospects while competing on the regional circuit across the United States. At 6-foot-5, Spann is a very tall fighter for 205 pounds, and those long arms have come to good use throughout his career as he’s pulled off a slew of submissions. In fact, Spann has finished five fights with the guillotine choke so don't blink if he latches on to his opponent's neck as this matchup gets underway.
As for Roberson (4-0), he hasn't spent as much time in mixed martial arts as Spann but he has plenty of combat sports experience.
When he's not competing in MMA, Roberson has competed in several high level kickboxing matches, including a very short notice bout he took against K-1 legend Jerome Le Banner in his first professional fight. That says a lot about Roberson's willingness to step up to any challenge, and this opportunity to fight in front of Dana White is no exception. Coming from a striking background, Roberson packs a serious punch and he'll likely be gunning for the knockout when he faces Spann on Tuesday night.
JASON JACKSON VS. KYLE STEWART
This welterweight matchup between Jason Jackson and Kyle Stewart could end up being the best of the entire card considering the talent packed into these two prospects.
Jackson (7-2) first appeared on the UFC radar as part of The Ultimate Fighter, but unfortunately he didn't get the call to compete in the Octagon after the reality show was finished. Jackson hasn't slowed down since that time, however, because he's won his last four fights in a row including a TKO victory over recent Ultimate Fighter finalist Dhiego Lima. Jackson has faced a laundry list of tough opponents during his career, including a bout with top 15-ranked welterweight Colby Covington in his second professional bout.
Meanwhile, Stewart (7-0) is perfect in the early part of his MMA career with an impressive run through regional promotions while training out of Arizona. Most recently, Stewart dispatched Ty Freeman by first-round shoulder lock in his debut for Legacy Fighting Alliance and that came one fight after he defeated Octagon veteran Estevan Payan by unanimous decision. Stewart is definitely a name to watch, but he will have his hands full with Jackson on this card.
Expect fireworks in this middleweight matchup as Geoff Neal looks to build on a recent TKO win when he faces Chase Waldon.
Neal (7-2) is a veteran fighter out of Texas who has earned knockouts in his last three wins while putting together an impressive 3-1 record overall in his past four fights. Neal has fought several times in Legacy Fighting Championships before recently making his debut in Legacy Fighting Alliance. Neal likes to keep a blistering pace during his fights, which is probably why he's finished four of his opponents in the first round. It's tough to see Neal not turning this matchup into a firefight in a hurry.
As for Waldon (11-2), he has an equally impressive resume with a long list of dominant wins on his record as well, including 10 victories in his last 11 fights. The only blemish on Waldon's recent record came in a defeat to current UFC fighter Gerald Meerschaert. Waldon has picked up wins in a variety of ways, including a rare Peruvian necktie submission, which was a move popularized by former Ultimate Fighter finalist CB Dollaway when he arrived in the UFC several years ago.
This matchup could ultimately play out on the ground or on the feet, but there's little doubt that Neal and Waldon are going to leave it all in the cage as they both look to catch the attention of Dana White.
ALONZO MENIFIELD VS. DANIEL JOLLY
Another light heavyweight matchup on the card will pit former college football player turned fighter Alonzo Menifield against Daniel Jolly, who will look to earn his way back to the Octagon after two previous fights in the UFC.
Jolly (5-2) had been a very hot prospect coming out of Texas after amassing a perfect record through his first five fights. Jolly had rolled through the competition with wins by knockout and submission and it earned him a call up to the UFC. Unfortunately, Jolly ended up facing off with two of the best up and coming fighters in the light heavyweight division and he was released from the promotion following losses to Misha Cirkunov and Khalil Rountree Jr. Now Jolly wants to fight his way back to the UFC and this is his chance to prove he's ready to return.
Menifield (3-0) will be a tough test to get through, as this former Division II linebacker from Texas is a powerhouse with a ton of raw athletic talent that could be molded into a top 10 fighter one day. While his first passion was football, Menifield soon discovered he loved fighting just as much, and when his prospects to make a professional career on the gridiron seemed to dry up, he realized that fighting may have been a better choice to begin win. Through his first three fights, Menifield has gone 3-0 with a trio of knockouts where only one opponent made it as far as 22 seconds into the second round with him.
Veteran featherweight Dan Ige will look to build on his recent five-fight win streak when he takes on Luis Gomez in Tuesday’s opener.
Ige (7-1) is a well-respected veteran who has fought in some of the top promotions around the United States and who has even competed in Japan in a bout that took place in Pancrase. The Hawaii native most recently picked up a unanimous decision win in Titan FC before getting the call to see what he could do on the Contender series.
Gomez (4-0) comes from Cuba and has primarily competed on the Florida fight scene while putting together an impressive start to his career with four straight wins. Gomez has finished three out of his four opponents, so there's little doubt he'll be looking for another early win when he takes on Ige in this featherweight showdown. At just 22, Gomez is young, but he certainly could make an impact with a big win this week.