Joe Pyfer’s UFC dream came to a crashing halt when he suffered a grisly dislocated elbow in his first DWCS appearance in Season 4. In the Season 6 opener, he redeemed himself in highlight-reel fashion with a second-round knockout of Ozzy Diaz.
Pyfer’s win capped off a night of largely tactical affairs that went to the scorecards – and immediately captured UFC President Dana White’s attention. The exec rewarded the performance with the only UFC contract a night, a stark reversal from many earlier events in which as many as five fighters earned deals.
“Show me who you are Tuesday night,” White urged next week’s fighters in an interview with Laura Sanko after the fights wrapped on Tuesday at UFC APEX in Las Vegas. “That’s the only thing I’m concerned with. ... Act like Joe Pyfer. Be excited to be here. Try to knock your opponent out. “Be Joe Pyfer and you will get into the UFC.”
And with that, White walked off camera, figuratively dropping the mic.
Check out the Pyfer’s finish, which came at the 1:39 mark of the second round when he landed a check left hook on the advancing Diaz.
“The Pleasure Man” wins over judges
Fun-loving Anton Turkalj sauntered into the octagon, trying to make an impression on Dana White, even if he didn’t know he was there. Turkalj, a training partner of Alexander Gustafsson and Khamzat Chimaev at AllStars, showed Chimaev’s urgency in putting opponent Acacio dos Santos on the canvas, and Gustafsson’s toughness in taking a shot to get the job done.
Dos Santos introduced him to his fists at the start of every round, when Turkalj opened with the same leg kick every time. But even when Turkalj swung wildly, dos Santos wasn’t able to land the big shot and gave up his back for extended periods of time. In the end, that was enough to convince judges of the 29-28 score for Turkalj across the board. Afterward, the Swede expressed surprise that the fight wasn’t five rounds and White wasn’t there – even though he was sitting cageside.
Buzukja gets first DWCS win
Two years after losing on DWCS via unanimous decision, Dennis Buzukja convinced all three judges he won the day in a second appearance against Kaleio Romero. A product of Team Alpha Male, Romero balanced his striking inexperience with smothering wrestling and toughness. At the start, he did just enough slugging to trap Buzukja against the fence.
Buzukja might have spent the whole fight against the links had he not broken away in the second and landed a knee that nearly put out Romero. In the third, Buzukja, from Longo/Weidman MMA, took a page out of his opponent’s book and got the takedown. Still Romero rallied, trying to roll his way into a banana split and twister submission. Buzukja had to fight his way out of it and slug things out in the final minutes before getting 29-28s across the board.
Costa ekes split in lackluster clash
Alessandro Costa spent the better part of 15 minutes trying to get inside on his tall and rangy opponent, Andres Luna Martinetti, who picked at him at distance with kicks. At the end of each round, he did his best work on that front, scoring with heavy hands. Luna even aided him in the second, getting a little too lax leaving his head exposed on withdrawal. A right hand sent Luna to the canvas, though he was able to quickly reverse. Despite Costa’s bigger punches, he only convinced two of three judges he was the victor and took home the split call by scores of 30-27, 28-29 and 29-28.
Full DWCS: Season 6, Week 1 results:
Joseph Pyfer def. Ozzy Diaz via KO (punches) - Round 2, 1:39
Anton Turkalj def. Acacio dos Santos via unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28)
Dennis Buzukja def. Kaleio Romero via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
Alessandro Costa def. Andres Luna Martinetti via split decision (30-27, 28-29, 29-28)
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