Dana White believes that all fighters signed from Dana White’s Contender Series, past and future, can view Alex Perez as a model for what the show is all about.
In Season 1 of Dana White’s Contender Series, Alex Perez earned a contract by submitting Kevin Gray in the first round. Upon entry into the promotion, Perez would start his UFC career at 3-0, with two of those wins being finishes: submitting Carls John de Tomas and knocking out Jose “Shorty” Torres. In his next bout, Perez would experience his first and only setback in the UFC when he suffered a TKO defeat at the hands of Joseph Benavidez. Perez would rebound by stringing together another three-fight win streak to earn the opportunity that is before him this weekend when he challenges new flyweight champion Deiveson Figueiredo.
Alex Perez’s journey to his title shot at UFC 255 began on Dana White’s Contender Series. And when asked about Perez at the post-fight press conference following the latest episode of the show, Dana White beamed about the flyweight and voiced his belief that Perez’s Contender Series beginnings signify the growth of the sport.
“Think about this, we were talking about this yesterday. Go back to ‘TUF’ and look at the fights that were in ‘TUF’,” White began. “It was literally the evolution of the sport at the time. All the people that came out of ‘TUF’ went in a certain fighter and came out a different type of fighter. And I think ‘TUF’ did a lot of good stuff for the up and coming talent back then”
“Look at these kids that are fighting in the Contender Series. It’s night and day. The kids that are fighting in the contender series would have wiped the floor with the ‘TUF’ people back in the day…. What I love about (Alex Perez) going in and fighting for a title this weekend is, all the kids that fought tonight and have fought on the contender series before every one of you have the ability to do that. We brought you in for a reason… You have the ability to become world champion one day.”
Alex Perez will look to become the first Contender Series alum to capture the world championship this Saturday at UFC 255. Should he succeed, that would make him all the more of an inspiration for current and future graduates of Dana White’s Contender Series.
What do you think Alex Perez’s chances are of becoming world champion this Saturday at UFC 255?