A 29-year-old welterweight prospect who serves as a striking coach at Team Alpha Male, Malott (7-1-1) needed just 39 seconds to bulldoze through previously unbeaten Shimon Smotritsky (7-1) in the main event of Tuesday’s Contender Series event and secure a UFC contract.
With UFC Hall of Famer Urijah Faber cheering him on cageside, and on the same week his younger brother Jeff made his NHL debut with the Winnipeg Jets, Malott snatched Smotritsky’s head charging into the pocket and dropped to his back to wrap up a nasty guillotine choke and the second-fastest submission in Contender Series history.
“It’s a blessing to be able to do what you love for a living,” an emotional Malott said post-fight, “and now I get to make an actual living doing it.”
Malott’s performance highlighted a night of four UFC contracts for White.
Each men had their moments, with Barez nearly securing a rear-naked choke in the closing seconds of the opening round and Hernandez returning the favor in the early stages of the second. The third frame was a back-and-forth affair but in the end Hernandez’s 80-45 advantage in the striking volume took precedence over Barez’s 5-0 edge in the takedowns. Two judges scored the contest 29-28 for Hernandez, while one dissenter scored it 29-28 for Barez, giving Hernandez the split decision win and his seventh straight victory overall.
With the win, Hernandez earned a UFC contract.
Garcia landed a heavy right hook through the guard and behind the ear to drop Weems along the fence, then pounced with a barrage of punches to cement the stoppage.
Afterward, White called Garcia’s UFC signing a “no brainer.”
“Man, it’s so nice to finally join the party at Fortis,” Garcia said. “Everybody’s in the UFC except me, so it’s really nice to finally join the party and get some co-workers in there.”
Despite coming into Tuesday’s event as a 9-to-1 betting favorite — and the biggest betting favorite of this Contender Series season — Valdez had anything but an easy night. White stormed out with guns blazing and the two lightweights spent the entirety of the opening round battering each other with wild combinations inside the pocket, with White surprisingly getting the upper hand in the majority of the exchanges. But Valdez needed just 44 seconds into Round 2 to swing all momentum back to his side, dropping White with a flurry of looping hooks that forced referee Herb Dean to jump in and stop the contest.
The training partner of UFC flyweight champion Brandon Moreno, Valdez earned the night’s fourth and final UFC contract.
After a grinding opening frame, Holmes tripped his foe to the floor with a foot sweep along the fence then leapt onto his back and snaked in the fight-ending choke with a quickness.
Standing a towering 6-foot-4, Holmes would’ve entered the UFC tied with champion Israel Adesanya as the tallest middleweight on the roster. Instead, White revealed that Holmes has already agreed to fight again on Nov. 14 at a Fury FC event that will be filmed for the UFC’s other prospect-hunting show, Dana White Lookin’ for a Fight.
- Mike Malott def. Shimon Smotritsky via submission (guillotine choke) at 0:39 of Round 1
- Carlos Hernandez def. Daniel Barez via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
- Fernie Garcia def. Josh Weems via TKO (punches) at 2:10 of Round 1
- Joseph Holmes def. Shonte Barnes via submission (rear-naked choke) at 2:46 of Round 2
- Genaro Valdez def. Patrik White via TKO (punches) at 0:44 of Round 2