After a week off, Dana White’s Contender Series returns to the UFC Apex in Las Vegas, Nevada as 10 of the best regional prospects in mixed martial arts battle it out for the chance to become a member of the UFC roster. The action airs on ESPN+.
The fights took place in a small, intimate setting and sitting front row was none other than UFC president Dana White, along with matchmakers Sean Shelby and Mick Maynard. In the season premiere, Yorgan de Castro and Puna Soriano picked up victories and were awarded UFC contracts. The following week, the contracts were awarded to Miguel Baeza and Miles Johns, each picked up impressive decision victories.
The event featured four incredible finishes, which is exactly the kind of thing White hopes for with all of these events. In the end, the UFC president awarded contracts to all five winners of the night: Jonathan Pearce, Maki Pitolo, Hunter Azure, Antonio Trocoli and Joe Solecki. This is the first time in the promotion’s history that five UFC contracts were awarded following an event.
If you missed the event, check out the full, round-by-round results and highlights of the historic Dana White’s Contender Series 19.
Jonathan Pearce vs. Jacob Rosales
Herb Dean gets them going and they trade punches in the center. Pearce lands a beautiful uppercut, and another one. Right hand lands from Pearce. Rosales answers with a combination. They get into dirty boxing and Rosales lands a couple of short uppercuts. These guys are slugging it out. Leg kick lands from Pearce, followed by a combination. Body shot lands, but Rosales lands a clean right hand in return. Another combination from Pearce, who then misses a flying knee. Jabs traded before Rosales lands an overhand right. Halfway through the round and Pearce clinches up and lands a nice knee to the face of Rosales. Pearce lands another uppercut and Rosales answers with a combination. Left hook from Rosales stings Pearce. Another left hook from Rosales lands. Pearce returns with a right hand before Rosales lands another big shot. A knee from Pearce lands, answered by a Rosales right hand. Rosales takes Pearce down and locks in a guillotine. Pearce is able to escape the choke as the horn sounds. Fun round with both finding success.
MyMMANews.com scores the round 10-9 for Rosales
Pearce misses a spinning back kick to the body to kick off the round. Right hand lands by Rosales and Pearce returns with a beautiful combination. Strong leg kick lands from Rosales. Pearce answers with one of his own. Rosales is starting to slow down his pace slightly and Pearce is taking advantage of it by turning up the volume. More combinations landing by Pearce and looks for a Thai clinch. Rosales shoots for a takedown and Pearce is landing huge knees and punches. Uppercut lands from Pearce, who goes for a takedown while Rosales is hurt. Pearce looks to mount and Rosales is able to escape back to his feet. Pearce continues to pour it on, but Rosales is valiantly trying to fight back and hang on. Pearce takes him back down and looks to advance his position. Rosales is able to get back up, again! Pearce continues to pester Rosales with his pacing. Rosales goes for a flying knee and falls to his back. Pearce gets on top and lands a flurry of short elbows. Rosales tries to lock in an arm bar out of nowhere. Pearce is able to slip out of it as the horn sounds. All Pearce in that round and kudos to Rosales for surviving.
— UFC (@ufc) July 10, 2019
MyMMANews.com scores the round 10-8 for Pearce
Pearce gets right in the face of Rosales and lands a bunch of punches. Rosales is trying to swing for the fences and Pearce gets it to the ground. Rosales scrambles and takes the back of Pearce, who then scrambles in his own right to take Rosales’ back. This fight has been bananas. Pearce throws a belly to back suplex and is on top and Pearce postures up and ands a big right hand and Herb Dean has seen enough.
— UFC (@ufc) July 10, 2019
Official result: Jonathan Pearce def. Jacob Rosales via TKO – Round 3, 1:50
Maki Pitolo vs. Justin Sumpter
Pitolo had earned an opportunity to compete on the Contender Series in the past but was forced to withdraw and Sumpter is getting a second chance. Sumpter lands a big right hand, stunning Pitolo right away. Pitolo lands a nice leg kick that almost drops Sumpter. Another leg kick lands, this time dropping Sumpter. Pitolo teeing off right now as Sumpter covers up. They separate and Sumpter lands a loud, thumping body kick. Sumpter comes up short on a short elbow. Pitolo pushes Sumpter against the fence and starts to land. Sumpter looks to tie up and Pitolo throws a barrage of body shots and Sumpter is down. The referee steps in and that’s it! Fantastic performance from Maki Pitolo.
— UFC (@ufc) July 10, 2019
Official result: Maki Pitolo def. Justin Sumpter via TKO – Round 1, 1:37
Chris Ocon vs. Hunter Azure
Herb Dean is the third man in the Octagon and gets them going. They meet in the center and Ocon lands a leg kick. Azure lands a nice combination that gets Ocon’s attention. Azure takes the fight to the mat and Ocon is able to fight back to his feet, eating a knee to the midsection in the process. Left hook lands from Azure and a leg kick from Ocon. Azure with a hard body kick, looks to have struck the forearm of Ocon. Azure throws a body shot combo, but Ocon lands a nice knee. Leg kick almost drops Ocon and Azure is all over him. Huge right hand lands from Azure and Ocon seems to have recovered, but eats another right hand. Ocon shoots for a takedown and Azure sprawls and locks in a tight guillotine. Ocon is able to slide out and they battle against the fence as Azure looks for another takedown. Ocon looking for undercooks and lands a short elbow on the separation. Azure lands another hard leg kick. Body shot from Ocon lands as we approach the final minute of the round. Azure charges in with a looping right hand and goes for a takedown. Ocon is able to defend it which has to boost his confidence. Azure rushes forward and looks for another takedown. Ocon is able to stay on his feet and push his opponent against the fence. They battle against the cage for the final seconds, Ocon looks for a hip toss as the horn sounds.
MyMMANews.com scores the round 10-9 for Azure
Azure comes out aggressively and Ocon lands a nice combination. Azure explodes against he cage to push Ocon back. Left hand lands from Ocon and another hard leg kick lands from Azure which sends his opponent to the floor. Azure charges in and Ocon gets back to his feet and the battle against the fence begins again. Azure looks for a takedown, Ocon is able to defend momentarily and get back to his feet. Azure is relentless and Ocon is very slick and is able to escape. A pair of leg kicks from Azure drops Ocon again. Ocon gets back to his feet and Azure is able to secure a takedown halfway through the round. Azure working from the back of Ocon and is trying to flatten him out. Left hands landing from Azure followed by a hammer fist. Ocon is not able to get to his feet as quickly this Tim. Azure looking for a rear naked choke and begins to land big shots as Ocon is flattened out. Ocon gets into a better position and Azure lands another big right hand. Under 20 seconds to go, Azure tries to lock in the rear naked choke again. A pair of right hands land from Azure as the horn sounds. All Azure in the second.
MyMMANews.com scores the round 10-8 for Azure
Ocon lands a nice combination early in the round. Azure takes his opponent down and gets to work. Azure is looking to attack the neck of Ocon and lands a pair of elbows. Standing guillotine is locked in by Azure, which is used to drag Ocon down to the mat. An immediate transition to the back by Azure and tries to lock in a rear naked choke again. Ocon is able to hang in there, and Azure locks it in again and it looks tight. Ocon toughs it out once again but is dealing with Azure on his back. Ocon tries to get back to his feet but Azure takes it right back down. Ocon is giving it everything he has here to go the distance. Under a minute to go, Azure has a body triangle locked in and Ocon isn’t able to shake him. Ocon now escapes the body triangle and gets back to his feet. Ocon is looking for his own takedown, but time is running out. The horn sounds. Dana White is clapping, but has that look on his face as if Azure will not be walking out of The Apex with a contract tonight.
MyMMANews.com scores the round 10-9 and the fight 30-26 for Hunter Azure
Official result: Hunter Azure def. Chris Ocon via unanimous decision (30-27 x2, 30-26)
Antonio Trocoli vs. Kenneth Bergh
The light heavyweights are ready to go as Trocoli lands a body kick early. Bergh gets double under hooks and pushes Trocoli against the cage. Knees to the thighs from Bergh over and over again. Trocoli explodes out and reverses the position and now has Bergh’s back against the fence. Trocoli looks to take the back and Bergh is able to turn it around. The battle against the cage has gone past the one minute mark Bergh lands more knees to the thigh of Trocoli and does so constantly for a good 20 seconds. The referee is about to separate the fighters before Trocoli is able to hip throw Bergh to the mat. Trocoli looking for an arm triangle and Bergh is in trouble. Bergh is able to create a bit of separation and Trocoli takes his back. Trocoli has a neck crank locked in and Bergh is forced to tap.
— UFC (@ufc) July 10, 2019
Official result: Antonio Trocoli def. Kenneth Bergh via submission – Round 1, 3:57
James Wallace vs. Joe Solecki
Wallace starts with a leg kick. Solecki lands a left hand, followed by a right hand. Right hand lands by Solecki. Wallace throws a front kick and Solecki answers with a combination. Wallace throws a kick and it’s caught by Solecki who takes the fight to the ground. Solecki goes from side control, to mount, and back to side control with a body lock. Left hands land repeatedly by Solecki, who has Wallace’s arm trapped. Solecki passes to side control and Wallace does a nice job getting it back into his guard. Solecki passes and takes Wallace’s back. Solecki looking to lock in a rear naked choke and decides to throw more punches instead. Still over two minutes for Solecki to work and locks in a body triangle. Wallace seems quite calm and turns it over and gets on top. Solecki locks in a guillotine. Solecki transitions to mount and Wallace goes out cold. It’s all over and Dana White is very impressed.
— UFC (@ufc) July 10, 2019
Official result: Joe Solecki def. James Wallace via submission – Round 1, 3:49
DWCS 19 fight card & results:
- Joe Solecki def. James Wallace via submission – Round 1, 3:49
- Antonio Trocoli def. Kenneth Bergh via submission – Round 1, 3:57
- Hunter Azure def. Chris Ocon via unanimous decision (30-27 x2, 30-26)
- Maki Pitolo def. Justin Sumpter via TKO – Round 1, 1:37
- Jonathan Pearce def. Jacob Rosales via TKO – Round 3, 1:50
*All five winners earned UFC contracts