Dana White’s Contender Series returned for another Tuesday night of intriguing action, as up-and-coming competitors tangled for the chance to earn a UFC contract.

Three fighters earned a promotional contract as a result of their performances, including UFC developmental deal fighter William Knight (8-1), who mounted a comeback and finished opponent Cody Brundage (5-1) with strikes in Round 1. Knight was mounted early in the fight but reversed position, landing Travis Browne-type elbows against the cage. The elbows were the beginning of the end for Brundage, who was finished a few strikes later.

Heavy underdog Ronnie Lawrence (6-1) punched, kicked, and grappled his way to the UFC with an upset unanimous decision victory over Jose Johnson (11-6). Lawrence was relentless from start to finish. Upon the evening’s contract winners, UFC president Dana White offered up high praise and called Lawrence “special.”

Submission guru Jimmy Flick (15-5) earned a third-round submission after a dominant, grapple-heavy marathon of a fight against Nate Smith (6-1). After armbar, guillotine, D’Arce choke, and triangle choke attempts, Flick finally got the tap with an arm-triangle choke.

White offered Smith, as well as main event victor Melsik Baghdasaryan (5-1) and DWCS 31 curtain-jerker winner Tucker Lutz (10-1), slots on the next season of Dana White’s Contender Series. White announced the series is expected to return in November following a short hiatus.

Baghdarsaryan defeated Longo-Serra team member Dennis Buzukja (4-2) by unanimous decision, a few fights after Lutz defeated short-notice replacement Chase Gibson (9-5) by unanimous decision.

The Dana White’s Contender Series 31 results include:

  •  Melsik Baghdasaryan def. Dennis Buzukja via unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28)
  • Jimmy Flick def. Nate Smith via submission (arm-triangle choke) – Round 3, 3:15
  • Ronnie Lawrence def. Jose Johnson via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
  • William Knight def. Cody Brundage via TKO (strikes) – Round 1, 2:23
  • Tucker Lutz def. Chase Gibson via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)