Dana White’s Contender Series ‘Week 1’ Play-by-Play & Results

By Sherdog.com Staff Jul 11, 2017


Sherdog's live Dana White's Contender Series: Week 1 play-by-play kicks off at 8 p.m. ET.

Check out the MMA Forums to discuss the card or enter your comments and predictions below.

Joby Sanchez vs. Manny Vazquez

Round 1

Vazquez takes the center of the cage while Sanchez circles on the outside. Sanchez comes forward with a leg kick before moving away. Vazquez counters a Sanchez combination with a left hand. The flyweights tie up and Sanchez gets underhooks and pushes Vazquez against the cage, where he lands short punches to the body. Vazquez responds with knees. The separate and Sanchez continues to try to work inside the reach advantage of Vazquez. Sanchez presses forward and is dropped by a Vazquez counter. Vazquez transition’s to Sanchez’s back in a scramble and he has a little more than a minute to work. Vazquez secures a body triangle and he lands some left hands to the head of Sanchez. Vazquez alternates punches to the head and body as Sanchez defends the choke. The round ends that way, with Vazquez landing punches attached to his foe’s back. 10-9 Vazquez.

Round 2

Sanchez presses the action early and forces the clinch. Sanchez drops for a double leg and gets it. Sanchez moves to side control and applies pressure with a crossface. Sanchez is looking to set up a brabo choke, but he can’t find the proper position. Sanchez lets go and lands a pair of elbows to Vazquez’s face. Sanchez stands up in Vazquez’s guard and transition’s to his foe’s back. He’s landing left and right hands to the head while attempting slide his left arm under Vazquez’s chin. Sanchez remains content to chip away with punches and hammerfists while applying hip pressure. The round ends with Sanchez doing more of the same, landing punches from Vazquez’s back. 10-8 Sanchez.

Round 3

Vazquez whiffs on a multi-punch combination to begin the frame. Vazquez shoots and takes his man down near the fence. Sanchez stands and Vazquez has a rear-body lock, looking to take the back. Sanchez propels himself off the cage and rolls. The flyweights are stuck in a stalemate and referee warns them to improve. Sanchez frees himself and ends up in Vazquez’s guard. Sanchez passes to half guard and lands some ground-and-pound. Sanchez connects his hands and rolls in an attempt to set up a choke, but Vazquez scrambles back up. They’re standing with 2:00 to go. Vazquez lands a left hook that backs up an aggressive Sanchez. Sanchez closes the distance and pushes Vazquez against the fence. Sanchez gets a takedown and goes back to work with ground-and-pound. Sanchez floats over Vazquez’s back and continues to land punches. The Jackson-Wink MMA rep remains attached to Vazquez as the final horn sounds. 10-9 Sanchez (29-27 Sanchez).

The Result

Joby Sanchez def. Manny Vazquez via Unanimous Decision (29-27, 29-27, 29-27) R3 5:00

Charles Byrd vs. Jamie Pickett

Round 1

Byrd lands a pair of leg kicks to start the action against his taller foe. Byrd goes up high with a kick but it’s blocked. Byrd is focusing on Pickett’s lead leg in the early going. Pickett changes levels and gets Byrd to the canvas near the cage. Pickett is on Byrd’s back with both combatants against the fence. Now, Pickett is working from half guard, but Byrd stands and tries to break Pickett’s grip. However, Pickett is able to turn and take Byrd right back down. Byrd is up again but he can’t shake Pickett. Pickett drops for a single leg with about 2:00 as Byrd defends. Byrd digs an underhook and pushes his opponent against the cage and into the fence. They separate briefly before Byrd lands a takedown. Pickett stands and dodges a huge punch from Byrd on the break. Byrd ties up Pickett and lands a spinning back elbow. Pickett quickly changes levels for a takedown but Byrd ends up on top, where he fires off a few quick punches. Byrd then passes to side control and secures an arm-triangle choke with about 10 seconds remaining, and Pickett goes unconscious just before the horn sounds.

The Result

Charles Byrd def. Jamie Pickett via Submission (Arm-Triangle Choke) R1 4:55

Boston Salmon vs. Ricky Turcios

Round 1

Turcios comes out throwing a variety of kicks. Salmon tags his foe with a left hand. Salmon finds the range on another left hand and then follows up with a hard one-two that just misses. Turcios goes with a couple high kicks that Salmon blocks. Salmon slips a punch and lands a right hand. Salmon continues to walk his foe down, remaining composed. Salmon lands a couple uppercuts in an exchange. Turcios lands a body kick but Salmon catches it and answers with a right hand. Turcios is bleeding near his right eye. Salmon steps in an finds the range on another left hand. Turcios is still throwing kicks but not with the volume and energy as he did earlier in the round. Salmon catches a kick and counters with a right hook. 10-9 Salmon.

Round 2

Salmon lands a left hand following a Turcios low kick. Another straight left form Salmon connects. Turcios lands an inside and an outside leg kick, but to little effect. Salmon goes to the body with a left hand. Salmon counters a body kick with a right hook. Turcios shoots for a takedown but Salmon sprawls and shoves him away. They trade near the fence and Salmon lands a couple hooks to the body. Salmon continues to stalk Turcios, landing left hands and right hook counters. Turcios lands a high kick and then has kick to the chest blocked. Salmon stops another takedown try and lands an uppercut followed by a kick to the body. A two-punch combination lands for Salmon. A body kick by Turcios lands but is caught by Salmon and Turcios misses a follow up elbow. 10-9 Salmon.

Round 3

Turcios presses forward and eats a counter hook for his troubles. Turcios is probing with low kicks but he continues to eat counters from Salmon. A right hook from Salmon sends Turcios tumbling to his seat. The Team Alpha Male product pops right back up. Turcios shoots for a takedown and shoves Salmon into the fence. He lets go of the legs, resets and tries again. He can’t get Salmon down and they continues to tried strikes in the clinch. Salmon lands a nice counter uppercut with his back to the cage. Turcios ups his aggression near the fence, landing punches and knees before tying his man up. Salmon counters Turcios with a left hand. Turcios lands a kick to the body and eats another counter hook. They continue to trade before Turcios pushes Salmon into the cage. Salmon lands a couple knees in close before they separate. Salmon is throwing big punches as the round counts down. 10-9 Salmon (30-27 Salmon)

The Result

Boston Salmon def. Ricky Turcios via Unanimous Decision R3 5:00

Greg Rebello vs. Azunna Anyanwu

Round 1

Rebello strikes first blood with a left hand. After a feeling out session, Rebello lands another quick left hand. Rebello just misses a head kick and Anyanwu continues to pursue, pawing with his jab. Rebello snaps an outside leg kick. Anyanwu isn’t pulling the trigger much halfway through the round, while Rebello is landing quick punches periodically. A couple left hands land for Rebello. Anyanwu misses a two-punch combination and Rebello answers with a leg kick. Anyanwu finally finds the range on a right hand and Rebello fires back with a straight left. Anyanwu is stalking and he catches a high kick and dumps Rebello to the mat. He isn’t able to do much with the position before time expires. 10-9 Rebello.

Round 2

Anyanwu continues pawing away at the outset, and Rebello pushes him back with a front kick. Finally Anyanwu pushes forward and lands some power punches against the fence. Rebello answers and Anyanwu moves out of danger. Anyanwu goes to the body with a straight right hand. Rebello connects with an uppercut on the chin, maybe his best punch so far. Anyanwu keeps coming and briefly traps his foe on the fence with a combination. Rebello shakes off a body shot and lands a right hook to the body of his own. A straight left connects for Rebello. Anyanwu lands a couple punches near the fence. He backs up and slips a straight right from Rebello and then lands a massive right hand over the top. It lands flush and Rebello falls to his back. Anyanwu pounces and unloads with hammerfists and punches on the mat for the finish.

The Result

Azunna Anyanwu def. Greg Rebello via KO (Punch) R2 3:04

Kurt Holobaugh vs. Matt Bessette

Round 1

The featherweights begin by trading leg kicks. Holobaugh takes the center of the cage but Besssette lands a glancing right over the top. Holobaugh hurts Bessette with a right and flurries against the fence. Bessette covers up and they reset. A right lands clean for Holobaugh. Bessette slips a punch and lands a nice right hand. Holobaugh appears unaffected. They trade leg kicks and Holobaugh just misses a head kick up high. Bessette lands a hard outside leg kick. Holobaugh lands a one-two near the fence. Bessettes nose and face is reddened, showing the effects of the damage from Holobaugh. Holobaugh hurts Bessette with a couple right hands over the top and rushes his stunned foe. When Bessette covers up, Holobaugh flurries on the body, getting his opponent to drop his hands. When that happens, Holobaugh rips a right hook to the chin and Bessette tumbles forward to the canvas. Referee “Big John McCarthy immediately steps in to wave off the bout.

The Result

Kurt Holobaugh def. Matt Bessette via KO (Punch) R1 2:59

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