DWCS Week 3 recap | Fighters’ purpose help punch ticket into UFC 

Zachary Reese newly contracted UFC middleweight. Photo by Wyatt Touchet.

Dana White’s Contender Series maintains momentum as another crop of prospect fighters are signed into the UFC, as three of the four winners in week three’s fights earned their spot on the UFC roster.

Luis Pajuelo defeats Robbie Ring by TKO at 3:45 of Round 1

This featherweight bout was an absolute war.

The Peruvian native produces his seventh career KO/TKO, as this slugfest did not last beyond the first round. Pajuelo and Ring recorded a combined total of 55 significant strikes. 

“I’m very happy for my country [Peru], my family, my team,” Pajuelo said. “I think this is the year of the Peruvians.”

The 28-year-old now extended his winning streak to five, with an impressive 8-1 record. Pajuelo is only the second Peruvian to receive a contract in the last three weeks.

Josefine Knutsson defeats Isis Verbeek by unanimous decision [30-27]

Knutsson lives up to her name “Thunder” and brought just that into this women’s strawweight bout that went the distance. 

The 27-year-old remains undefeated at 6-0, however, did not receive a UFC contract. 

“Super talented, in her prime at 27-years-old,” White said. “I just didn’t see it tonight. I know when I see it, and tonight I didn’t see it…I’d like to see her finish fights.”

Knutsson is the first winner in this season’s contender series to exit their fight and not be offered a contract.

Oban Elliot defeats Kaik Brito by split decision [29-28, 29-28, 28-28]

This 170-pound fight began as a barn burner and ended as a bar fight. Elliot and Brito exchanged blow-for-blow and round-for-round as both fighters ended the bout beyond exhausted.

The 25-year-old produced a masterclass on the ground recording four takedowns and a total of 4:25 ground time through three rounds.

“I’ve had this dream for so long,” Elliot said. “I haven’t stumbled upon this opportunity…I am a [expletive] nightmare.”

Elliot’s will and execution earned himself a UFC contract into the welterweight division. The Wales native elevates to 9-2.

Zachary Reese defeats Eli Aronov by submission [Armbar] at 1:14 of Round 1

The 29-year-old Texan showcases his extraordinary ability to finish fights as he quickly sends Aronov back home with a tight armbar. This 185-pound contender series bout is Reese’s fourth longest fight in his professional career.

“It feels surreal. I remember being a kid and watching UFC,” Reese said. “I am blessed to be a UFC fighter now.”

Reese remains undefeated at 6-0 and is now the UFC’s newest middleweight fighter.

Up Next

The UFC heads to Singapore for UFC Fight Night, headlining Max Holloway and the Korean Zombie. DWCS continues on Tuesday, Aug. 29.


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