Las Vegas – UFC president Dana White is loving the results from his Tuesday night fight series.
Dana White’s Contender Series is nearing the end of its fifth season, and after a night in which the boss handed out five new UFC contracts to prospects, White reflected on the history of fights that have unfolded at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas.
“I was thinking about this tonight, you know, we own a few libraries in combat sports,” White told MMA Junkie and other reporters at the DWCS 45 post-fight news conference. “This is the second-best library in combat sports. I mean, you could make the argument for PRIDE, because PRIDE had some classic, unbelievable fights, but they had a lot of sh*tty fights, a lot of mismatches and things like that too.
“But this thing? In four seasons, top to bottom, I mean, every single fight is excellent. It’s crazy. This is the second-best library in all of combat sports. It’s unbelievable.”
The UFC owns the rights to a wide variety of fight promotions’ libraries including the storied bouts from WEC, Strikeforce, and PRIDE. White believes his Tuesday night show is already second-best behind the UFC.
The UFC’s long-running reality series, “The Ultimate Fighter,” also produces top-level talent, and despite some fans calling for the show to come to an end given the success of DWCS and the faster format to bring fighters into the UFC, White explained why they are not comparable.
“Two totally different shows, you can’t compare the two, and you definitely can’t compare the libraries,” White said. “When you look at the Contender Series and what it’s meant to be, the Contender Series is the best unsigned guys in the world fighting each other to see who gets a contract, one night, whatever.
“TUF is more of a developmental show. When you go in to TUF, you come out of that place a better fighter. It’s a completely different show. Obviously, TUF will alway be No. 1 to me. It’s the thing that made us and we’ve done so many seasons of it.”
Given the longevity of TUF, there has been more time and opportunities for the show’s alumni to contend for and claim UFC titles. While no one who has competed on DWCS has claimed a UFC championship just yet, White believes eventually there will be more champions who emerge from DWCS than TUF.
Since its debut in 2005, there have been 29 seasons of TUF and 11 fighters have achieved championship status, including current champions Rose Namajunas and Kamaru Usman.
With one more week to go in its fifth season, DWCS has already matched last year’s record number of 37 contracts handed out to competitors. Out of 154 total contract earners since the show’s inception in 2017, only one, Alex Perez, has challenged for a UFC title thus far.
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