The second installment Dana White Tuesday Night Contender Series Season 3 will air tonight on ESPN+, but there is a story from last week’s season premiere that continues to be a subject of water cooler conversation a week later, and that is Dana White’s decision not to offer Brendan Loughnane a contract after his victory over Bill Algeo, with the lone reason provided being because of a takedown attempt by Loughnane in the final 10 seconds of the fight. So if Brendan Loughnane could do anything differently, would he?
“Yeah, not going for a takedown,” Loughnane told ESPN with a laugh.
The next logical question would be, then why did he do it? Loughnane provided a detailed explanation of his thought process behind the action that ultimately led to his UFC aspirations’ destruction for the time being:
“So leading up to that fight, the plan was, Algeo’s good everywhere,” Loughnane said. “We’re going to have to mix in takedowns here. And also, I did a prefight thing where I said, look, all the UK guys got absolutely slated for not wrestling. So I thought, I’m a good wrestler, and I thought I’d show that in the fight, too.
“There’s 30 seconds left. I can hear, ‘Brendan, Brendan, points, points’ from Dominick Cruz and my other cornermen. ‘Just get the points!’ I know the biggest point scorer is a takedown, which is confusing because then you get told now it’s not. So it’s like, where’s that really at? So yeah, I mean, I was beating the guy up on the feet, landing some great shots, and then I just mixed it up with a takedown and, unfortunately, it cost me a contract.”
Loughnane is aware that the criteria for what makes someone UFC-ready may be a bit warped by Contender Series standards, and that the stand-and-bang style may be more preferred. If that’s the case, this should be more explicitly stated, he believes, because he would have no problem obliging, as he had done for the majority of the fight:
“It is confusing,” Loughnane said. “When you get a takedown, you win the fight. That’s what it used to be like. Now it’s obviously detrimental. But I get the concept of the show. I just wish it was explained a bit better that you’ve got to stand and bang. Because I’ve got absolutely no problem doing that, as I’ve shown in all my other fights. So if I would have known that, I would have done that.”
After the emotional rollercoaster last week and the sour ending, would Loughnane accept a UFC contract if it were offered today? Just one week ago, his answer would have been much more definitive than it is today:
“I mean, it’s the UFC and it’s what I’ve worked towards, but I don’t know. It’s just pretty hard at the minute. We’re only six days in. I’m sure I’ll get over it. But it’s still kind of hard to take.”
What are your thoughts on Brendan Loughnane not being offered a contract with the UFC due to the takedown attempt at the end of his Contender Series bout?