Fight Night: Sandhagen vs. Song took what many expected to be a snoozer of a card and brought the action. Viewers were left gasping at massive cuts sustained by fighters in both the co-main and main event. Fans walked away from the UFC Apex pleasantly surprised by the competitiveness and eventfulness of the night.
One of the standouts of the card was Joe Pyfer, who earned his UFC contract in the first week of this year’s Dana White’s Contender Series. Pyfer found a KO in the first round of his first UFC fight over Alen Amedovski. Pyfer had taken the MMA world by fire when Dana White told future Contender Series fighters to “be Joe Pyfer.” With Pyfer finding early success, it begs the question of who else from this year’s Contender Series batch could make waves in the UFC.
I believe Joe Pyfer is just getting started. With a three-KO fight streak, Pyfer is getting hot at the right time in his career. After sustaining a devastating injury in his first Contender Series appearance in 2020, Pyfer returned this year and has quickly gotten the redemption he was seeking, finding a KO in the 2nd round over Ozzy Diaz in the Contender Series before moving on to his impressive showing on Saturday earning him Performance of the Night. Pyfer wants to stay active and fight often I expect this guy to just rocket in popularity and ranking.
This guy had so much hype coming into the Contender Series. He proved -3000 odds were well deserved as he submitted Zack Borrego with a rear naked choke in a little over a minute. Nickal is viewed by many to be a wrestling prodigy having an absolutely stellar career at Penn State.
Dana White shocked many by not rewarding the killer performance with a UFC contract that night, instead confirming that Nickal would fight again in this Contenders Series. Nickal seemed to be expecting it and welcomed another fight, and to his credit, he is green. He was 1-0 coming into the last fight and so getting some more fights under his belt will be beneficial before he is thrown into the highest echelon of the fighting world.
Dana White has been saying that the UFC has been missing a superstar from Japan. Look no further Yusaku Kinoshita has shown up and is ready to carry that mantle. Kinoshita is on a 2 KO fight streak after his KO of Jose Henrique in the 3rd round.
Kinoshita is a beast with a 6-1 record. His only loss is a DQ due to a fence grab while he was knocking out his opponent, making the loss seem less incriminating. Kinoshita was having fun and put on a show during his Contenders Series performance. A smile practically glued to his face, the guy was laughing and had friendly taunts earning him favor with MMA fans. I expect him to get a favorable first opponent in the UFC as they aim to create their Japanese star.