After an exciting first week that produced three finishes and saw Kurt Holobaugh and Boston Salmon impress Dana White enough to earn a chance to compete inside the UFC Octagon, the second week of action inside the TUF Gym was just as electric.
Here’s a look at what went down on Week 2 of Dana White’s Tuesday Night Contenders series exclusively on UFC Fight Pass.
For a fight that lasted a little over three minutes, a whole lot happened in this one.
De Anda came out swinging and rocked Spohn early, dropping the former Ultimate Fighter contestant along the fence and appearing only a couple big shots away from collecting the finish. But a series of blows to the back of the head prompted referee John McCarthy to halt the action and take a point and once the action restarted, Spohn came forward like a man possessed.
Charging across the cage, he swarmed De Anda, dropping him with a collection of big shots along the fence. As De Anda covered up, Spohn moved to back mount before transitioning to side control, where he quickly locked up an arm triangle choke and squeezed out a tap.
After coming up short in his first UFC appearance and nearly getting finished, Spohn made the most of his second chance to earn his fourth straight victory and eighth win in his last nine fights.
Official Result: Daniel Spohn defeats Angel De Anda by Submission (Arm Triangle Choke) at 3:10 of Round 1
ALFRED KHASHAKYAN vs. SEAN O’MALLEY
Welcome to The Sugar Show!
Unbeaten through his first seven professional appearances, the 22-year-old O’Malley declared ahead of the bout that he had the look and the skills to be a force in the UFC bantamweight division and Tuesday night, he earned the opportunity to do that by collecting a first-round walk-off knockout win that made UFC President Dana White jump out of his chair with excitement.
Sporting a bouncing mop of curly hair, the MMA Lab product came out swinging, trading big shots with Khashakyan from the outset, showing little regard for defense and no real concern for the punches coming his way. Instead, O’Malley continued walking forward, throwing bombs, and once he had Khashakyan rocked, the talented finisher took his time, picked his spots and ended things in style.
Training alongside an elite crew including UFC fighters Drakkar Klose and Bryan Barberena, O’Malley gets plenty of good work in the gym, and with his performance on Tuesday night, “Sugar” earned the opportunity to compete alongside of them on the biggest stage in the sport, getting the Dana White seal of approval and a UFC contract.
Official Result: Sean O’Malley defeats Alfred Khashakyan by Knockout (Punch) at 4:14 of Round 1
Having picked up one of the most impressive finishes of the season when he was a member of Team Faber on Season 22 of The Ultimate Fighter, Thanh Le found similar success back inside the TUF Gym Tuesday night.
Very early in the fight, Le crashed home a pair of thunderous body kicks that immediately left a welt on Stojadinovic’s rib cage, including one that took the Bronx native off his feet. After continuing to snipe from distance and avoid catching anything solid from Stojadinvoic through the opening five minutes, Le connected with a left high kick that brought the fight to a sudden halt.
After coming up short in his bid to land a place on the UFC roster through the long-running reality competition, Le went out, added to his arsenal and capitalized on his second chance by collecting a devastating knockout victory.
Official Result: Thanh Le defeats Lazar Stojadinovic by Knockout (Head Kick) at 1:35 of Round 2
In a welterweight clash of styles, Outlaw’s grappling proved to be far too much for the Florida-based knockout artist Cora.
Right out of the chute, Outlaw closed the distance and slammed Cora to the canvas, spending the vast majority of the first round dominating the action on the ground, eventually transitioning to back mount and finishing out the frame by threatening with a rear naked choke. The second was virtually identical, complete with Outlaw getting deep on a choke that had commentator and former training partner Paul Felder calling it a wrap, only to have Cora once again peel his hands apart and survive to the bell.
After a minute of circling on the outside to begin the third, Outlaw dove in on a low single, transitioned to a high crotch and dumped Cora to the ground for a third time. Unhappy with Outlaw’s effort from top position, referee Mark Smith stood them up and Cora tried to take advantage, swinging wildly, only to have Outlaw pull guard. To his credit, Cora kept trying to posture up and fire through the final bell, but it simply wasn’t enough.
Official Result: Sidney Outlaw defeats Michael Cora by Unanimous Decision
For the second week in a row, the flyweights got the action started on the Tuesday Night Contenders series and just as they did last week, they kicked things off with a high-octane affair that went the distance.
The opening five minutes were frenetic as both fighters came out of the gate fired up and looking to trade. As they settled in, Kenney became the aggressor, pressing forward with hard kicks and sharp hooks, but Hamilton was right there with him every step of the way, countering well and keeping it close through the first.
In the second, Kenney continued to dictate the terms and started to pull away, pursuing a takedown and eventually finding himself on Hamilton’s back, threatening with a rear naked choke. “The Autobot” defended well and managed to get back to his feet, but as his corner made clear between rounds, the 30-year-old veteran was in a hole heading into the final stanza.
Knowing he needed a finish, Hamilton came out quickly to start the last round, pressing the action as Kenney appeared content to stay on the outside. But just as he was starting to find a rhythm, the black belt judoka Kenney hit a perfectly timed takedown in the center of the Octagon midway that took the wind out of Hamilton’s sails. The unbeaten Indiana native maintained control through the final horn, salting away the biggest win of his career in the process.
Official Result: Casey Kenney defeats C.J. Hamilton by Unanimous Decision