Week two of Dana White’s Contender Series 2020 had a number of promising names on its five-fight card. LFA strawweight champion Vanessa Demopoulos, who won gold just last month, was looking to break into the UFC against “The Hobbit” — British fighter Cory McKenna.
Canada’s T.J. Laramie, one half of Ontario’s Laramie brothers, was set to take on Daniel Swain. The brothers Laramie have long been some of Canada’s biggest fighting prospects, and Tuesday night represented the first chance for one of the pair to make it to the big show.
A pair of returning fighters were looking for redemption, meanwhile. Anthony Adams and Impa Kasanganay had both appeared on the Contender Series once before, only to come up short in their efforts. Paired up against each other, one of these middleweights would likely pick up a win (draws being a rarity on the show, given what’s on the line) — but would one do enough to earn a UFC deal this time around?
Check below for full results and the list of contract winners, and stay tuned post-fight for additional backstage coverage via our DWCS 28 page!
Aside from an early low blow that halted the action, it was Anthony “Sugarfoot” Adams utilizing his kicks well in the DWCS 28 opening bout. Impa Kasanganay threatened with his power, something that would carry over into the early second round. Kasanganay would begin working the body, while Adams continually threatened with a knee. Adams would do a little showboating with his hands behind his back, and pay for it, then get taken down. In the third, there was another crushing low blow — this time, a Kasanganay knee landed on Adams. They’d go the distance, with Kasanganay winning a decision on the Contender Series for the second time.
Daniel Swain trapped TJ Laramie in a nasty looking arm-bar early, but Laramie gutted it out, got on top, and dropped a little ground and pound. Did we say a little? Between rounds, Swain told the judges he couldn’t continue as he couldn’t breathe from a rib injury. Whether one of Laramie’s shots to the body caused it wasn’t clear, but it gave Laramie the TKO win after the first. Coincidentally, the victory comes on the birthday of Laramie’s late mother, who passed away when he was just eight years old.
Cory McKenna vs. Vanessa Demopoulos turned into a nail biter on the ground, and something of a chess match. Demopoulos threw up submission after submission over the course of three rounds, while McKenna defended and maintained top control. “Lil Monster” pulled out an actual carthweel in the third, McKenna landed a head kick, but they’d go back to the ground for the bulk of it again, with Demopoulos failing to lock in a late arm-bar. McKenna would take the decision based in large part on her control and ground n’ pound.
Adrian Yanez wasted no time in his fight with Brady Huang, connecting several times in the opening seconds, sitting Huang down and forcing the ref to make the save. End result, the fifth fastest stoppage in Contender Series history.
The featured bout, meanwhile, ended with a bit of a freak injury. After a slam takedown by Dustin Stoltzfus, Joe Pyfer’s elbow dislocated, resulting in an injury stoppage.
Dana White’s Contender Series Season 4, Week 2 Results
Dustin Stoltzfus def. Joe Pyfer by TKO (injury), Round 1, 4:21
Adrian Yanez def. Brady Huang by TKO, Round 1, 0:39
Cory Mckenna def. Vanessa Demopoulos by unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28)
T.J. Laramie def. Daniel Swain by TKO (doctor’s stoppage), Round 1, 5:00
Impa Kasanganay def. Anthony Adams by unanimous decision (29-27, 29-27, 29-27)
Contracts: Impa Kasanganay (will fight August 22), T.J. Laramie, Cory McKenna, Adrian Yanez, Dustin Stoltzfus