Contender Series Winner Sean Woodson: From Xbox Player to UFC Fighter in a Week

In the span of a week, Sean Woodson went from sitting in his room playing Xbox, to earning a UFC contract on Dana White’s Contender Series.

Las Vegas, NV — The knee heard round the UFC Apex, perhaps? Sean Woodson got the most spectacular finish on Dana White’s Contender Series this week, a flying knee that left no question about whether he’d be getting a UFC deal.

Speaking to reporters including Cageside Press after the event, Woodson was still in shock. “I haven’t had a chance to process it. I feel like I’m in a dream, literally. It doesn’t seem real. Just a week ago, I was playing Xbox in my room, not even thinking this was anywhere near a possibility right now.” Now, he’s a UFC fighter, something he always believed possible. It’s just the timing that threw him. “I’ve always known I was going to be in the UFC, but I just didn’t think it would’ve been this soon.”

When the call came, it gave him all of five days to prepare for the fight. “There really wasn’t much of a discussion,” he said of the opportunity presenting itself. “I hit up my team and I said ‘this is it, we’ve got this opportunity,’ and I told them where my weight was at. I honestly didn’t even think I was going to make weight. I just knew I was going to give it my all, do my best, and I just made it happen.”

He did just that, after a grueling weight cut. “I was 170 when I got this call. I weighed in at 146. So I cut 24 pounds in five days. It’s the hardest thing I’ve ever done in my life. I’ll never do that again. I’m going to stay at featherweight, but I’ll never make featherweight short notice again.” A proper amount of time, “no problem,” Woodson added, “but just five days, nearly killed me.”

Improving his record to 6-0 with the finish of Terrance McKinney, Woodson is ready for his debut. Just not on short notice. “I’m ready whenever, as long as it ain’t five days notice. I’ll fight anybody, doesn’t matter who the f*ck it is.”

While the finish was all flash, the early part of the fight saw Woodson in some tough spots. That included having his opponent on his back. Yet while it looked bad, Woodson told reporters that “I’m in that position all the time. I’m comfortable in bad positions. I come into the training room some days, and the entire two, three hour session is nothing but putting me in bad positions, and me working out of them.” His approach to training is that “I know where my strengths are and I don’t neglect them, I make sure they’re sharp, but I’m focused on my weaknesses more than anything.”

He was also focused on making an impression Tuesday. “Knowing how Dana White expects these fights to go on the Contender Series, I knew that I was going to be flying knees, spinning stuff, I was going to go for it,” he said. “I was going to really put it all on the line tonight.” That gamble paid off, clearly.