Charles Byrd, Grant Dawson Secure UFC Contracts on Dana White’s Contender Series

By: Brian Knapp
Aug 15, 2017

Charles Byrd put Randall Wallace in a vice.

The Legacy Fighting Championship veteran submitted Wallace with a second-round rear-naked choke in a middleweight feature on Week 6 of Dana White’s Tuesday Night Contender Series at the UFC Training Center in Las Vegas. Byrd (9-4) drew the curtain 2:03 into Round 2 and was one of two competitors to earn Ultimate Fighting Championship contracts.

Wallace (15-7) put himself in advantageous positions -- he advanced to the back and threatened with a rear-naked choke of his own -- in the first half of the first round. Prosperity, however, proved fleeting. Byrd turned the tide late and carried the momentum into Round 2. There, he swarmed with punches, reversed an attempted takedown into top position and went to work with punches and elbows. Byrd then scrambled to the back and bit down on a palm-to-palm rear-naked choke for the finish.

With that, Byrd became the first fighter to win twice under the DWTNCS banner. The 33-year-old choked Jamie Pickett unconscious with a first-round arm-triangle on Week 1 in July.

Related » Dana White’s Contender Series ‘Week 6’ Play-by-Play & Results

Dawson Choke Taps Diaz

Glory MMA and Fitness prospect Grant Dawson secured the other Ultimate Fighting Championship contract, as he disposed of onetime Tachi Palace Fights champion Adrian Diaz with a rear-naked choke in the second round of their featherweight tilt. Diaz (11-5-1) bowed out 1:15 into Round 2.

Dawson (12-1) gave the Team Alpha Male export the wood chipper treatment. The 23-year-old delivered a takedown inside the first minute and tore into Diaz with punches, hammerfists and slashing elbows. He advanced to the back in the waning moments of the first round and locked in a rear-naked choke as the horn sounded. It was a sign of things to come. Dawson struck for another takedown at the start of the middle stanza, wheeled to the back and cinched a seated rear-naked choke to prompt the tapout.

A protégé of UFC veteran James Krause, Dawson has won three fights in a row.

Colleen Armbar Submits Masters

Former King of the Cage champion Jamie Colleen submitted Tiffany Masters with a third-round armbar in a women’s strawweight feature. Masters (2-1) conceded defeat 4:43 into Round 3.

Colleen (4-1) navigated rough seas before the finish. Masters was the superior fighter for much of the fight and did her best work in the second round, where she struck for a takedown, settled in top position and unleashed her ground-and-pound. Those considerable efforts did not yield the desired results. Late in the third round, Colleen yielded another takedown but snatched a Hail Mary armbar out of nowhere, went belly down with the maneuver and forced the tapout.

Alvarez Withstands Late Day Surge

American Top Team’s Jamie Alvarez survived a furious rally from Martin Day to claim a unanimous decision in a three-round flyweight scrap. All three cageside judges gave the nod to Alvarez (7-1), who has rattled off three consecutive victories. No scores were announced.

Alvarez spent two rounds building his lead. He zeroed in on Day’s lower leg with kicks, backed them up with takedowns and applied his ground-and-pound, advancing to the back in the second round. All his hard work came at a price. Alvarez had little to offer in Round 3, and his Hawaiian counterpart capitalized. Day (5-2) battered him with crisp punching combinations, many of them to the body, and paired them with kicks to the head and occasional knees. Unfortunately for the Tachi Palace Fights veteran, a finish was nowhere to be found.

Olson Rallies to Upset Reed

Roufusport rep Cameron Olson won for the fourth time in five outings, as he took a unanimous verdict from the favored Karl Reed in a three-round clash at 205 pounds. Olson (7-3) swept the scorecards with 29-28 marks across the board.

Reed (1-1), who trains alongside UFC welterweight contender Stephen Thompson, performed well in open space, where he maximized his height and reach advantages with sharp straight punches and probing kicks. Olson switched gears over the final 10 minutes, as he pursued a suffocating clinch, executed takedowns and piled up points with top control and elbow strikes. The 27-year-old threatened with a standing guillotine and later achieved full mount, punctuating his latest victory.

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