Tony Gravely, Sarah Alpar, Brok Weaver Land UFC Deals on Dana White’s Contender Series

By Brian Knapp Aug 13, 2019
The Ultimate Fighting Championship family grew by three on Season 3, Episode 8 of Dana White’s Contender Series, as Tony Gravely, Sarah Alpar and Brok Weaver were awarded contracts on Tuesday at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas. Meanwhile, William Knight was signed to a developmental deal, much like the one to which Greg Hardy agreed in 2018.

A reigning CES MMA champion, Gravely put away Ray Rodriguez with punches in the third round of their bantamweight encounter. Rodriguez (15-6) succumbed to blows 2:16 into Round 3.

Gravely (19-5) worked well between phases, as he handled his business on the feet with jabs, leg kicks and left hands before sneaking inside for clinches and takedowns. Rodriguez leaped forward in a bid for a Hail Mary knockout at the start of the third round, only to be shot down with a counter left. Gravely later scrambled to the back, flattened out the Combate Americas veteran and closed him out with unanswered punches.

The 27-year-old Gravely has posted seven consecutive victories.

A former Legacy Fighting Alliance champion, Alpar submitted Shanna Young with a rear-naked choke in the second round of their women’s bantamweight pairing. Alpar (9-4) drew the curtain 2:55 into Round 2, executing her first submission in more than eight years.

Young (4-2) appeared to be in control at the end of the first round, where she utilized a nearside cradle and knees to the legs and body before biting down on a brabo choke in the waning seconds. Alpar delivered a takedown roughly 90 seconds into the middle stanza, shifted to the back and snaked her arms in place for the choke.

Alpar now finds herself on a three-fight winning streak.

A charismatic Island Fights alum, Weaver overcame a slow start to lay claim to a unanimous decision over Devin Smyth in a three-round welterweight battle. All three judges struck scorecards in Weaver’s favor: 30-27, 29-28 and 29-28.

Smyth (4-2), the godson of former UFC light heavyweight champion Rashad Evans, controlled the tempo with takedowns and strong clinch work throughout the first round. However, he appeared to suffer injuries to one or both of his hands midway through the fight and could not keep Weaver (13-4) at bay in a compromised state. The Alabaman piled up points with punches, at close range and from a distance, capitalizing on the moment.

A Thornton Martial Arts export out of Connecticut, Knight dispatched Herdem Alacabek with punches in the third round of their light heavyweight showcase. An exhausted Alacabek (5-1) bowed out 4:34 into Round 3, as the Swede tasted defeat for the first time.

Knight (2-0) at times appeared to be out of his depth. Alacabek had him reeling for much of the first five minutes, as he hammered the body with knees and punches, secured a takedown and ultimately climbed to the back, briefly threatening with a rear-naked choke. To Knight’s credit, he refused to relent. He altered the course of the fight in the second half of Round 2, where he powered into top position, applied his ground-and-pound, achieved full mount and made a pass at a keylock. Knight dazed the Swede with a flying knee in the third, kept his foot on the gas and hit pay dirt in the final minute. He sprawled on an attempted takedown, settled in side control and dropped elbows before again jumping to mount. From there, Knight let his hands go until referee Jason Herzog had seen enough.

Finally, St. Charles MMA rep Julius Anglickas submitted Karl Reed with a rear-naked choke in the third round of their light heavyweight confrontation. Reed (3-2) conceded defeat 3:25 into Round 3, as he lost for the second time in as many appearances on the Contender Series. Neither man gained entry to the UFC.

After two tepid and uneventful rounds, Anglickas (5-1) made his move on the fatigue-stricken South Carolinian. He pinned Reed to the fence with knee strikes and elbows, executed a pair of takedowns and applied some mild ground-and-pound. Anglickas wheeled to the back without threading his hooks and cinched the choke for the finish.

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