By: Dan Tom |
August 14, 2019 1:15 pm
Dana White’s Contender Series 24 took place Tuesday in Las Vegas, and we’re grading the winners from the five-fight card, which streamed on ESPN+ from the UFC Apex in Las Vegas.
With a refreshing but digestible format that has had the MMA fanbase responding, this series has shown to have legs in multiple ways while serving as a crockpot for contenders whom the UFC matchmakers can use for future events. So, with that trend in mind, I will once again be taking a look at the winning fighters regardless of whether or not they won a UFC contract, grading their performances in regards to their probability of returning to a UFC stage.
Weight class: Light heavyweight
Result: Julius Anglickas def. Karl Reed via submission (rear-naked choke) – Round 3, 3:25
Summary: In what might be my lowest grade given for fighters who finished their fights, I had a hard time justifying an above-average score for Julius Anglickas’ workman-like win over Karl Reed.
Given their similar experience a physical stats, this matchup – which had a lot of potential on paper – didn’t exactly live up to expectations. The fight started off as a feeling out process on the feet that steadily devolved into a grinding clinch affair against the fence (which would sadly become one of the quiet themes of the night).
Reed was initially able to get the better of the wrestling stanzas early, showing the ability to pin Anglickas against the cage and do work from topside. The Lithuanian fighter eventually got back to his feet to answer Reed’s offense with a flurry of his own before the first bell, but it didn’t take long for Anglickas to get back to trying takedown attacks after eating a head kick early on in the second round.
Reed was able to counter wrestle his way back into exchanges before missing big on a high-elbow guillotine attempt that seemed to drain the Upstate Karate product even further, allowing for yet another strong finish from Anglickas. The third round saw the building Anglickas start to get the better of striking stanzas on the feet, but decided to continue to keep pushing the action into the fence instead.
Thankfully for Anglickas, his grinding effort was able to produce a finish (albeit one of the more anticlimactic rear-naked chokes in recent memory, for my money), as Reed tapped the mat ignominiously. I would like to think that I have more of an appreciation for grinding fighters than most, but Anglickas still has room (and thankfully some time) to sharpen up his skills before taking another shot at the big stage.