For the second week in a row, a fighter missed weight for Dana White’s Contender Series this week.
Missing weight is never a good look; missing weight for the Contender Series is almost certainly the death knell for any hopes of winning a UFC contract. While there’s nothing specifically that forbids Dana White from handing out a UFC deal to someone who has missed weight (after all, he’s awarded a contract to a losing fighter already this season), it means that a spectacular finish is pretty much a necessity.
This week, it was Joshua Weems missing weight for his bantamweight bout with Fernie Garcia. The fight is still on (unlike last week, which saw Manuel Gaxhja miss weight then have to pull out of his bout with Chris Duncan), moving forward at a 139lb catchweight.
Dana White’s Contender Series Season 5, Week 6 kicks off at 8PM ET, airing live on ESPN+ in the United States, and on UFC Fight Pass elsewhere. Full results from the card, at the UFC Apex, can be found below.
A weird start to Valdez vs. White saw Alaska’s Patrik White forget his protective cup prior to entering the cage. And his mouth guard. After stepping out to get his gear in place, White returned and blitzed off the opening bell. Valdez landed a takedown, but White was quickly back to his feet. Valdez would begin finding success on the feet, but opted to take the fight down again, only to be met with the same result — White was right back up. A third takedown saw White give up his back, allowing Valdez to lock on a choke, but White broke free.
Then came a slugfest. White got the upper hand, and Valdez looked like he was done, tagged over and over. White’s mouth piece went flying, but for the most part, he had the upper hand. That picked up again in the second, until Valdez knocked White’s mouth piece out once again. Valdez then landed a left-right combo, putting White down for the comeback TKO victory.
The middleweight bout between Joseph Holmes and Shonte Barnes was halted early due to an accidental headbutt, but both were okay to continue. Holmes won the positional battle along the fence, earning some control time before Barnes finally escaped out. Holmes went upstairs with a kick that was blocked; towards the end of the round, Barnes pursued a takedown but couldn’t land it.
Barnes worked the body in round two, and started the round stronger, but two minutes in, Holmes landed a takedown and took the back, getting both hooks in. That led to a body triangle, and he soon had the rear-naked choke in deep. Barnes was forced to tap, giving Holmes the second-round finish.
Weems was active early in the opening round of his fight with Fernie Garcia, and kicked the legs out from under his opponent. He found success with an overhand, high kicks, but was clipped with a counter on the way in by a left hook. Fernie later dropped Weems with a couple of hooks, one from each side, then swarmed with ground n’ pound. That was all she wrote!
Flyweights Daniel Barez and Carlos Hernandez went the distance in a spirited 15 minute affair. Both men had their moments in a fight filled with knees, takedowns, and heavy punches, with Hernandez taking a split decision win on the scorecards.
Canada’s Mike Malott barely broke a sweat in the night’s featured fight, locking in a guillotine and forcing the tap from Shimon Smotritsky in less than a minute.
Dana White’s Contender Series Season 5 Week 6 Results
Welterweight: Mike Malott def. Shimon Smotritsky by submission (guillotine choke), Round 1, 0:39
Flyweight: Carlos Hernandez def. Daniel Barez by split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
Catchweight (139 lbs): Fernie Garcia def. Joshua Weems by TKO, Round 1, 2:10
Middleweight: Joseph Holmes def. Shonte Barnes by submission (rear-naked choke), Round 2, 2:46
Lightweight: Genaro Valdéz def. Patrik White by TKO, Round 2, 0:44
Contract Winners: Genaro Valdez, Fernie Garcia, Carlos Hernandez, Mike Malott. Joseph Holmes did not receive a UFC deal but will compete on Dana White’s Looking for a Fight in November.