LAS VEGAS – For the first time in Dana White’s Contender Series history, a losing fighter was awarded a contract.

Carlos Candelario was edged out by Victor Altamirano at Dana White’s Contender Series 37 on Tuesday and due to the controversial nature of the split decision result, White decided to give both men a UFC deal.

With most people scoring in favor of Candelario, White decided to make an exception.

“It was the right thing to do,” White said at the post-fight news conference. “I felt like that kid (Candelario) won. I thought he won the fight 2-1, but the judges gave it to the other kid (Altamirano) and listen, he took the fight on two weeks’ notice. I respect that, but the other kid fought his ass off and did what you do when you know a kid took a fight on two weeks’ notice. He kept the pressure on him, did everything he could to try and win the fight, so (I) gave them both a shot.”

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While White said awarding contracts to losers isn’t something he’ll look to do often, he plans on taking some sort of action any time he thinks a fighter is on the wrong end of a decision.

“I think it was rare,” White said. “Listen, there’s probably gonna be other situations during the season where I think the judges are wrong, and I would probably go the other way. Or at least give the kid another shot to come back and do it again. We know we’ve all walked out some nights saying that was a horrible decision. I’m not gonna say there won’t be another one of those. If they do, I’ll do everything I can to make it right.”


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


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