It was a good night of fights on Week 5 of the Contender Series, Dana White said post-fight. Just not a good night for Jordan Williams, who saw a bad call by the judges cost him a UFC deal.
Las Vegas, NV — While it had some strange moments, including a bad call from the judges in one fight and a bizarre game plan by another fighter, week five of this year’s Contender Series was a success. “It was a good night. It was good fights.” That was UFC President Dana White’s summary of Tuesday’s action, which went down at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas.
White made the comments while speaking to reporters including Cageside Press following the event.
Three contracts were awarded, ultimately. Featherweight Bill Quarantillo was one winner, after a third-round TKO. It was a fight that saw Quarantillo overcome some early adversity. “I love to see it, I love to see different things. I love guys that — that kid put on a clinic on him in the first round,” White observed. “You go back to your corner, compose yourself, you come back out and you fix the things you did wrong in the first round and you win the fight. It’s incredible. I love it when people do that.”
Light Heavyweight Jamahal Hill won over the boss as his fight progressed. “The first round I was like ‘eh, this kid’s too young, he needs a little bit more experience.’ But his opponent was tough, durable, moving forward trying to win. Hit hard. And you saw the guy take some big body shots and shrug them off.” And so White wound up reconsidering, given the toughness of Hill’s opponent. “He was a tough guy he fought, and the way that that kid came out in the second round and went after him, I was like, ‘I might be wrong.’ You have to watch the whole fight instead of judging the guy on the first round.” Hill earned a TKO late in the second. He also earned a UFC deal.
He won’t be brought along slowly, however, young or not. “When you’re here, it’s all killers, man. It’s literally all killers,” said White.
Of course, there was no question that Sean Woodson was going to get a UFC deal, after a flying knee finish of Terrance McKinney. “That’s the second crazy flying knee we’ve seen in a week and a half, two weeks” White exclaimed. “There’s no secret. He knows he’s got to go home and work on his ground game some, but his takedown defense was good, and the kid that he fought is an absolute stud.” White, however, had issues with McKinney’s game plan, stud or not. He spent too much time on the back, without trying to move to mount, or anywhere else. White called it a “weird” performance from McKinney.
But thanks to the flying knee, it’s all a moot point. “Short notice, the way he fought, when the opportunity was there, he took it. And he landed the second most beautiful flying knee we’ve seen in a long time.”
— UFC (@ufc) July 24, 2019
Then there was Ramazan Kuramagomedov vs. Jordan Williams. While it ended in a split decision for Kuramagomedov, many including White scored it for Williams. But while White felt Williams won, “I can’t give it off a loss.” Ergo, no contract for Williams on Tuesday.
“The judges blew that one. I don’t know. It was close, but if you look at power punches, damage done — he had him hurt in the first and the third,” explained White. “Now, where he messed up was, as soon as he would get him hurt, he’s shooting on him. He had him hurt bad, why are you shooting on him?”
“Keep it standing. Keep throwing punches. Little mistakes that he made, that he’ll learn from, and that he needs to fix,” White continued. “He could have finished that fight in the first, he could have finished that fight in the third. He made little mistakes.”
The real heart-breaking news for Jordan Williams, however, is that White later added that “I would have taken him. I would have taken him if the judges had scored it right.”