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Ultimate Fighting Championship contracts were awarded to three competitors on Week 1 of Dana White’s Contender Series: Dustin Jacoby, Uros Medic and Jordan Leavitt.
A former Cage Fury Fighting Championships titleholder, Jacoby abused Ty Flores for 10-plus minutes, then fought through serious fatigue to hang on for a unanimous decision in a three-round light heavyweight battle on Tuesday at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas. All three cageside judges scored it for Jacoby (12-5): 30-26, 29-27 and 29-27.
Flores (7-3) withstood a horrendous amount of punishment. Jacoby swarmed him with everything from flying knees, body kicks and power punches to vertical clinch elbows and backfists. The Factory X representative was close to a finish near the end of Round 2, where Flores teetered on the end of a right hand, collapsed to the canvas and ate an unhealthy helping of ground-and-pound. Somehow, he survived to see a third round. There, the pace slowed to a crawl. An exhausted Jacoby conceded a takedown but continued to outstrike the Elevation Fight Team standout.
Unbeaten Medic Obliterates Gonzalez
Uros Medic kept his perfect professional record intact, as he put away Mikey Gonzalez with punches in the first round of their lightweight encounter. Medic (6-0) drew the curtain 2:12 into Round 1.
Gonzalez (7-2) expended too much energy through spinning attacks, wheel and hook kicks his weapons of choice. Medic changed the conversation with a straight left, doubled over the Californian with a liver kick, unleashed standing-to-ground punches and freed himself from an attempted heel hook. After they reset on the feet, the Alaska-based Serb pushed Gonzalez back to the canvas with a straight left-leg kick combination and forced the stoppage with an unanswered volley of hammerfists and punches.
Medic has finished all six of his opponents, five of them inside one round.
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Kick-Centric Rivera Outpoints Rodriguez
Repeated kicks to the legs and body carried Luttrell-Yee MMA export Jerome Rivera to a unanimous decision over Luis Ronaldo Rodriguez in a three-round flyweight tilt. All three cageside judges scored it for Rivera (10-2): 29-28, 30-27 and 30-27.
Rodriguez (10-2) answered with multiple takedowns and a surprisingly effective grappling game. He made a pass at an inverted triangle armbar in the second round and assumed top position again in the third. However, Rivera put his long arms and legs to use behind a 6.5-inch reach advantage during their standup exchanges and did enough to impress the judges.
Rivera, 25, has won three fights in a row.
Leavitt Choke Submits Flores
Undefeated Syndicate MMA prospect Jordan Leavitt submitted Jose Flores with an arm-triangle choke in the first round of their lightweight pairing. Flores (9-2) conceded defeat 4:15 into Round 1, his modest two-fight winning streak at an end.
Leavitt (7-0) executed a single-leg takedown inside the first 30 seconds, slammed out of a kimura and set up shop in top position. Short punches and elbows made life miserable for Flores, who offered little in the way of meaningful resistance in his second Contender Series appearance. Leavitt moved toward the back, threatened with a rear-naked choke and caught the arm-triangle when the Combate Americas veteran turned to face him. The tapout followed soon after. The 25-year-old Leavitt has secured five of his seven victories by submission.