Dana White’s Tuesday Night Contender Series Debut Event to Feature Trio of UFC Vets

By Tristen Critchfield Jun 22, 2017


The lineup is official for the first iteration of Dana White’s Tuesday Night Contender Series, and there are some familiar faces on the card.

Former Octagon talents Joby Sanchez, Justin Jones and Kurt Holobaugh will all compete at the event, which takes place on July 11 in Las Vegas and airs on UFC Fight Pass at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT.

Sanchez, who went 1-2 during a brief UFC stint from August 2014 to Dec. 2015, will face Manny Vazquez in a flyweight contest. The 25-year-old Sanchez has earned back-to-back triumphs on the regional circuit since exiting the UFC after a second-round TKO loss to Geane Herrera at “The Ultimate Fighter 22” finale. Vazquez is 11-2 as a professional and last appeared at Bellator 175, where he earned a unanimous verdict over Nate Williams.

“This means a lot to me because I have already been cut from the UFC before, and now I have this opportunity to fight again and continue on my road to becoming UFC flyweight champion,” Sanchez said in a release.

Meanwhile, Jones will square off with Charles Byrd in a middleweight scrap. “Black Dynamite has won six straight bouts in various promotions after losing decisions against Ron Stallings and Corey Anderson in his lone two UFC appearances. Byrd, a five-time Legacy FC veteran, enters the contest with a 7-4 mark.

Holobaugh, who will face Matt Bessette at featherweight on July 11, came up short in his lone promotional appearance, falling to Steven Siler via unanimous decision at UFC 159. The 30-year-old enters the matchup on a three-fight winning streak, including a fourth-round stoppage of Gesias Cavalcante in May in which he captured the Titan FC interim lightweight crown. Bessette, a veteran of Bellator MMA and CES MMA, has won seven fights in a row.

Two bouts will round out the Contender Series debut: Boston Salmon vs. Ricky Turcios at bantamweight and Greg Rebello vs. Azunna Anyanwu at heavyweight.

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