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Dana White's Contender Series 7 results: Joby Sanchez, Benito Lopez headed to UFC


Another two fighters are heading to the UFC courtesy of this summer’s inaugural run of Dana White’s Contender Series.

On Tuesday’s seventh episode of the show, UFC President Dana White awarded contracts to flyweight Joby Sanchez (11-2 MMA, 1-2 UFC) and bantamweight Benito Lopez (8-0) for their wins, which streamed live on UFC Fight Pass from The Ultimate Fighter Gym in Las Vegas.

Sanchez is no stranger to the UFC, but his first stint with the promotion resulted in a 1-2 record over a 16-month period between 2014-15. His win Tuesday was actually his second in this current DWCS run – he picked up a decision win over Manny Vazquez on the first episode of the show, but didn’t get a contract.

On Tuesday, though, he finished J.P. Buys (4-2) with a second-round TKO, making him 4-0 since the UFC let him go after a TKO loss to Geane Herrera in late 2015. Now the Jackson-Winkeljohn MMA-trained fighter will get another crack at the big show.

And Lopez, a Team Alpha Male fighter, improved to 8-0 for his pro career when he took a split decision from Steven Peterson (15-6), a Bellator, Legacy FC and LFA veteran. Going the distance snapped a string of six straight first-round finishes for the 23-year-old, but he likely won’t care much about that since it netted him a UFC deal.

Three other fighters picked up wins Tuesday: Kennedy Nzechukwu (3-0) took a split decision from Anton Berzin (5-2) in the main event; Mike Santiago (19-9) knocked out Mark Cherico (11-2) in the first round; and Jordan Espinosa (11-5) submitted Nick Urso (10-4) in the first. But their wins weren’t enough to trump Sanchez and Lopez – though White said the decision was a hard one.

Dana White’s Contender Series 7 results:

  • Kennedy Nzechukwu def. Anton Berzin via unanimous decision (29-27, 28-29, 29-27)
  • Benito Lopez def. Steven Peterson via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
  • Joby Sanchez def. J.P. Buys via TKO (punches) – Round 2, 2:28
  • Mike Santiago def. Mark Cherico via knockout (punches) – Round 1, 2:59
  • Jordan Espinosa def. Nick Urso via technical submission (D’Arce choke) – Round 1, 1:23

For more on Dana White’s Contender Series 7, visit the MMA Events section of the site.

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