All future contestants on Dana White's Contender Series probably will be hoping for one thing moving forward: Please, please let White have just returned from vacation.
The UFC president was admittedly in a "good mood" on Tuesday at the Apex facility in Las Vegas, as he handed out contracts to all five winners on the weekly show. White revealed he just got back from some personal time off, and perhaps that made him a little more generous in some cases.
This is the second time in the history of the Contender Series where all five winners were awarded contracts on a single episode. It also happened in Week 3 of Season 3 in 2019.
Probably the easiest signing of the night was bantamweight Adrian Yanez (11-3), who recorded the fifth-fastest finish in Contender Series history with a 39-second TKO over Brady Huang. Yanez, 26, rocked Huang with a counter left hook to the chin, and then put him out on his feet moments later with another two-punch combination.
"We never try to stay in front of people at all," Yanez said. "I broke my jaw once and I never want to do that again. We're cutting angles and constantly moving. Obviously, it's showing."
In addition to Yanez, the UFC signed middleweight Impa Kasanganay (7-0), featherweight T.J. Laramie (12-3), strawweight Cory McKenna (5-1) and middleweight Dustin Stoltzfus (13-1). White also indicated Kasanganay might be in the Octagon sooner rather than later, as the North Carolina fighter offered to compete at UFC Fight Night on Aug. 22 in Las Vegas.
Laramie, of Canada, and Stoltzfus, of Germany, each earned a contract despite somewhat odd endings to their bouts. Laramie defeated Daniel Swain via first-round TKO, when Swain said he could not continue after the first round due to what appeared to be a rib injury. And Stoltzfus' fight against Joe Pyfer ended in the first round when Pyfer's arm dislocated as he tried to brace his fall during a slam.
White appeared to be high on both Laramie's and Stoltzfus' potential going into their respective bouts, however. He called Laramie a "savage" and said he expected "big things" from Stoltzfus.
Arguably the most surprising signing of the night went to the 21-year-old McKenna, who is from Wales but trains with Team Alpha Male in Sacramento, California. McKenna defeated an LFA 115-pound titleholder in Vanessa Demopoulos, by taking her down and avoiding multiple submission attempts. She also had a strong final round on the feet, en route to a unanimous decision.
White said he had reservations about signing McKenna at such a young age but wanted to give her an opportunity to prove she belongs.
"Vanessa is the best girl outside the UFC, so I'm over the moon and this win means the world," McKenna said.
The UFC has now awarded eight contracts in the first two weeks this season on the Contender Series.