If performance bonuses were given out at Dana White’s Contender Series, competition would be stiff for $50,000 checks on Week 8 of Season 4. But UFC contracts are the reward, and every winner got one after a night filled with finishes.
Headliner Carlos Ulberg, Ignacio Bahamondes, Luis Saldana and Jared Vanderaa all received deals as the result of their wins on Wednesday night at UFC APEX in Las Vegas. The first three fighters also added impressive footage to their highlight reels, wowing UFC President Dana White with knockout finishes.
Ulberg was the last to send his opponent to the canvas and the latest City Kickboxing product to made a splash in the smaller octagon. The former rugby player and model stopped Bruno Oliveira with a pair of left hooks that extended his unbeaten streak to three pro fights.
Check out the finish.
Afterward, Ulberg’s training partners and cornermen Israel Adesanya and Brad Riddell joined in the celebration of his new UFC contract.
Bahamondes the second to ape Anderson Silva
In the co-headliner, welterweight Ignacio Bahamondes made it two in a row for highlight-reel front kicks, stopping Edson Gomez with a kick to the chops at the 2:31 mark of the second round.
Gomez was a game opponent, at least initially. What he lacked in stature he made up for in heart, showing off nice head movement and hard counters that at least gave Bahamondes some pause. But as he began to tire, breathing audibly in the quiet APEX center, Bahamondes refused to let up, using his height and reach to land strikes at will. It looked like his punches might do the job, but after measuring his opponent, he snapped the kick that will forever be featured on his highlight reel.
Saldana wows against Team Alpha Male’s Murdock
Luis Saldana looked like he was on his way to a comfortable win over Vince Murdock. Then he turned up the tempo and got a highlight-reel finish.
As a listless Murdock tried one last time to get his bearings, Saldana kicked him in the face, twice, and swarmed for a TKO in the first minute of the final frame. The official time of stoppage was 44 seconds of Round 3.
Check out the finish.
Saldana’s kicks had made an impact for the majority of the fight. His height and reach left him in prime position to snipe at the compact Murdock, who entered the cage after nearly two years away from the cage due to a rare brain condition that required a dangerous surgery. The time off showed in Murdock’s performance as he struggled to mount a consistent offense, neither striking much on the inside or using his wrestling to nullify his opponent’s natural advantages.
As the fight went into deep waters, Saldana looked increasingly at ease as he peppered Murdock with spinning and side kicks. Then came the fight-ending shots that put a contract under his pen.
Vanderaa takes a few to deliver the finish
On four days’ notice, Harry Hunsucker threw the kitchen sink at Jared Vanderaa. But what
The curtain jerker paired a 260-pound natural heavyweight in Vanderaa against Harry Hunsucker, a fighter who looked like he could compete at 205 pounds. On four days’ notice, Hunsucker had the right idea and swung for the fences. Unfortunately for him, Vanderaa’s head was a lot harder than he bargained for, and nothing could make up for his size deficit. When Vanderaa caught a couple bolos, he simply smothered his opopnent or tied up. And when Hunsucker banked on a kimura against the fence, he deposited the smaller fighter on the mat and pounded away until referee Jason Herzog called it off.
Full DWCS Season 4, Week 8 results:
Carlos Ulberg def. Bruno Oliveira via KO (punch) – Round 1, 2:02