LAS VEGAS – Carlos Candelario’s disappointment of suffering his first-career loss was quickly wiped away when he made history.

Candelario lost a split decision to Victor Altamirano at Dana White’s Contender Series 37 on Tuesday, but despite getting edged out, he was also awarded a UFC contract.

“Super weird right now, but I’m very happy,” Candelario said at the post-fight news conference. “I got those three letters under my name, and that’s what these fighters come here to do. They want that contract, and I’m the first one in history to get it in the UFC (after losing), so I’m pretty proud to say that.”

Dana White says awarding Carlos Candelario UFC contract after loss ‘was the right thing to do’

Candelario (8-1), who took the fight on two weeks’ notice, said White told him that he thought he won the first two rounds, which prompted White to make an exception for the first time and sign someone who lost.

“I lost my undefeated record; that hurts real bad,” Candelario said. “It stings. But when he told me that, it’s just something that filled me up with joy. You should have seen my face, but I’m pretty happy, you know. I fought Victor on two weeks’ notice and even before that, I didn’t even fight for four years. I fought in three weeks, but just the whole long layoff, but I don’t protect my record. I’m trying to fight tough guys. I’m trying to get that contract. I tried to fight my heart out. He was the LFA champ, and I really tried to go for it.”


Dana White’s Contender Series 37 results: Five contracts awarded, including one fighter who suffered a loss


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