Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) President, Dana White, just handed out five new contracts to the winning combatants competing on Episode 3 (Season 3) of “Contender Series,” which aired on ESPN+ last night from Las Vegas.
Check out the full results and live play-by-play here.
Color me reactionary, but this feels like the latest “fuck you” to former UFC hopeful, Brendan Loughnane, who dominated his fight against Bill Algeo in Episode 2, but was not awarded a contract after shooting for a takedown late in the contest.
I guess we can cross off the “Well, they ran out of contracts” excuse.
“I’ll give out five deals every week for the rest of this, for as long as this thing goes on, if they deserve it,” White said (via MMA Junkie). “If you deserve it, you’re going to get a contract. I’m not going to go, ‘Well, this guy deserves it, but I don’t want to give out three contracts this week.’ I’m going to give it to whoever deserves (it).”
Last night proved we can’t blame contract caps for signing snubs.
“If you don’t know what I’m looking for by now – I’m not looking for guys that come over here and try to win the opportunity to get into the UFC to play it safe to win,” White continued. “You’ve got to decide whether you want to do that the rest of your career, but you don’t do it here. It’s not what this is about, and it’s not what I’m looking for.”
The message here is that winning is not as important as entertaining, furthering the divide between sport and prize fighting. One thing I can say for sure is that no fighter is going to earn a contract in defeat, so it makes sense to protect a commanding lead by any means necessary.
Maybe this is why White always hated Georges St-Pierre, who went to a decision in seven of of his last eight wins.