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Mike Rodriguez, Alex Perez Awarded Contracts on Dana White’s Tuesday Night Contender Series



When Mike
Rodriguez
takes flight, violence follows.

The Lauzon
MMA
representative knocked out Jamelle
Jones
with a crushing flying knee in the first round of their
light heavyweight showcase on the
fifth installment of Dana White’s Tuesday Night Contender
Series
at the
UFC
Training Center in Las Vegas. One of two competitors to be
awarded Ultimate Fighting Championship contracts, Rodriguez (9-2)
finished it 2:15 into Round 1.

Jones (7-5) had no answer for the four-inch height and six-inch
reach disparities with which he was presented. Rodriguez denied his
bid for a takedown and kept him at bay with oblique kicks and leg
kicks. It all set the stage for the finish. Rodriguez caught “The
Ultimate Fighter 23” alum ducking on a takedown, left his feet and
connected with the flying knee. An unconscious Jones hit the deck,
where he was met with a few unfettered punches for good
measure.



Meanwhile, former Tachi
Palace Fights
champion Alex Perez
squeezed Kevin Gray
unconscious with an anaconda choke in the first round of their
flyweight feature. Gray (9-4) lost consciousness 2:54 into Round 1,
his two-fight winning streak at an end.

Perez (18-4) got busy with punches and knees while incorporating
leg kicks at opportune times. He staggered Gray with a short right
hand, sprawled out of a desperate takedown attempt and rolled into
the anaconda choke. Soon after, the Premier Combat Center standout
went limp.

Based out of the
Team Oyama
camp, Perez now finds himself on a five-fight
winning streak. Like Rodriguez, he, too, was signed by the UFC.

In an entertaining featherweight tilt,
Team Tiger Schulmann
prospect Julio Arce
rebounded from a difficult start to put away Peter
Petties
with punches in the second round. The 26-year-old
Petties (5-3) succumbed to blows 2:39 into Round 2.

Arce (13-2) struggled to overcome a speed deficit for much of the
first round but found a home for his left hand late and carried the
momentum into the second round. There, his boxing skills took over.
Arce had the Lloyd Irvin
protégé rattled with crackling lefts on multiple occasions, reset
and went for the kill. Petties ultimately collapsed under a steady
barrage, returned to his feet and wilted to unanswered shots along
the fence.

A former Ring of
Combat
champion, Arce has rattled off four straight wins.

Elsewhere, King of
the Cage
veteran Ricky Simon
eked out a split decision over Syndicate MMA’s Donavon
Frelow
in a three-round bantamweight affair. Scores were not
announced.

Repeated takedowns paved the way for Simon (10-1). He suffered a
cut near his left eye and had his head snapped back by a few Frelow
uppercuts, but the 24-year-old Gracie Barra Portland export was
otherwise in comfortable control. Simon mixed in enough power
punches on the feet to give his counterpart pause, struck for one
last takedown in the third round and advanced to the back to ice
his third win in a row.

Frelow (6-3) has lost three of his last four bouts.



Finally, Ring of Combat champion Shelton
Graves
disposed of Everett
Sims
with knees to the body in the third round of their
heavyweight pairing. Graves (7-3) brought it to a close 2:20 into
Round 3, as he recorded his fifth consecutive victory.

Sims (4-1) could not stay on his feet. The 27-year-old
American Top Team
rep conceded takedowns in all three rounds
and looked like a fish out of water at times, with Graves battering
him with a steady stream of punches from guard, half guard and top
ride positions. Midway through the third round, he postured up,
unleashed a series of knees to the body and forced referee Mark
Smith to step in on Sims’ behalf.



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