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LAS VEGAS – Dana White’s Contender Series action returns to our screens on Tuesday night as the UFC Apex plays host to five more fights, as 10 hopefuls look to impress Dana White and earn themselves a contract with the UFC.
All 10 fighters passed their first test as they all successfully made weight at Monday’s weigh-ins, with all fighters efficiently hitting their contracted weights within just 13 minutes of the weigh-in window opening.
Dana White’s Contender Series 23 represents the seventh week of the latest season of the talent-finding show, with the fights set to be streamed live in the U.S. on ESPN+ and internationally on UFC Fight Pass.
The night’s featured contest features a battle of lightweight prospects, as undefeated Venezuelan Omar Morales (7-0) takes on four-time LFA veteran Harvey Park (12-2).
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Burns rushed forward quickly to start the fight, looking to strike, but Minner stood firm in the first, forcing Burns to switch his strategy. Burns countered by pulling guard, but Minner was able to keep himself free and slip around to his opponent’s back in a standing position. Burns defended well, patiently waiting through the attack and pulling himself free. Minner immediately teed off with strikes, and a seemingly stunned Burns looked to attack the neck. The hold wasn’t there, so Minner countered by looking to move to the back. However, Burns was too slick, getting his back to the floor and then quickly locking in a beautiful triangle-armbar submission, earning an instant tap at the 2:29 mark of the first.
Johnson rushed forward to start the fight, though he actullly walked into a big right hand that sent him to the floor. Johnson popped right back to his feet and turned instead to a takedown, driving Muniz to the floor. Muniz quickly threatened with an armbar, but Johnson slammed his way free from the hold. As they scrambled for position, Muniz was able to slip to the back, where he was able to work in a hook and start hunting for the choke. Johnson tried to keep his chin tucked, but Muniz squeezed anyway, and he was able to earn the tap at the 1:46 mark of the opening round.
Joseph started the contest quickly, chopping at the legs, but Perrin countered with a takedown, getting dominant position in the opening minute. However, he couldn’t keep the fight there, with Joseph powering back to his feet and eventually resetting in the center.
Joseph landed a few big shots on the feet, but Perrin countered well, looking to get in tight and battle from the clinch. Joseph did his best to retreat and work from range, but Perrin continued to dictate the positioning. Late in the frame, Joseph changed course, dropping levels and driving the action to the canvas. However, Perrin was quick to escape back to his feet, as well, and they traded strikes until the end.
The pace remained high in the second, and after Joseph landed a few big strikes on the feet, Perrin shot inside for the takedown. Joseph was able to latch in a guillotine on the way down, though Joseph’s arm was inside the hold. Joseph worked to full guard and looked for the squeeze, anyway, and while it appeared tight, Perrin patiently waited through until his opponent was forced to let go.
Joseph quickly worked back to his feet, and the two went back to work in the center. It was Joseph who seemed to be landing the bigger blows, but Perrin never seemed overwhelmed by the onslaught and was always game in reply.
Both men appeared fresh enough to enter the third, but it was Perrin who struck first lifting Joseph high in the air and slamming him to the canvas. Joseph again refused to stay on the floor, scrambling up and resetting once again. However, Perrin wouldn’t be denied, walking through punches and getting the fight to the floor once again, this time switching around to the back and gaining some real control. However, Joseph seemed comfortable there, turning inside to take top position.
Perrin was able to escape back to his feet, and they reset with a little more than a minute remaining. Joseph teed off for a bit, then shot forward late. Perrin pushed him away, and the two exhausted fighters swing freely in the final seconds but largely came up short. In the end. Joseph was awarded the win, 29-28 on all three cards.
Dana White’s Contender Series 23 results include:
- Omar Morales vs. Harvey Park
- Lucrezia Ria vs. Marilia Santos
- Herbert Burns vs. Darrick Minner
- Andre Muniz def. Taylor Johnson via submission (rear-naked choke) – Round 1, 1:46
- Dwight Joseph def. Jay Perrin via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
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