After a successful first season, Dana White’s Tuesday Night Contender Series is back for another round of UFC tryouts. Season one of the show saw fifteen fighters be awarded UFC contracts and several fighters from the show have since made their way to the UFC. This season is bringing some of the fastest rising prospects in the sport but is also showing some love for those who have grinded away for the last 10 years for the opportunity. This Tuesday, a Pacific Northwest fighter is getting his opportunity to sign on the dotted line as Vancouver, Washington’s Austin Springer will be facing off against Giga Chikadze.
Austin Springer is no stranger to tryouts for the UFC; he was a competitor on season 22 of The Ultimate Fighter. Springer had to face off with an opponent for a seat in the house but came up short. This time around, the stakes are a bit higher but Springer is a far more seasoned fighter than he was at that time. He has spent the last year or so sharpening his skills at Gracie Barra Portland. Between that and being the owner operator of a gym (Vancouver Elite MMA) in Vancouver, the Pacific Northwest native has positioned himself well for a great showing on Tuesday night. Springer will be heading into this fight with some positive momentum coming off a dominant win this past February.
Springer will be facing off against Giga Chikadze, a very successful kickboxer who has made the transition to mixed martial arts over the last two and a half years. After losing his debut, Chikadze has made easy work of his last five opponents winning all five matchups via TKO. That said, he has not faced near the caliber of opponent that Springer has when it comes to MMA. Two of his opponents were a combined 1-23, not very impressive. But Chikadze is 38-6 as a kickboxer with 22 wins coming by way of Knockout. Should he be able to keep this fight on the feet, he will be a dangerous test for Springer.
Springer is the second Gracie Barra Portland fighter making an attempt at securing a UFC contract on the Tuesday Night Contender Series. His teammate, Ricky Simon, was victorious on the show but did not come away with a contract in hand. However, Simon was clearly a priority for the promotion and after two wins with Legacy Fighting Alliance he was on his way to the big show. Springer knows clearly that he will need to win impressively if he hopes to get an offer from UFC President Dana White. Even very dominant wins have not been enough to get the approval of White as of late. Fighters have needed to not only win, but they need to do it in spectacular fashion to have their tickets punched. Understanding what is at stake and just how important it is to punctuate your victory will add pressure to all those competing. After ten years in the sport, Springer surely knows what he needs to do to win. The questions is, will Dana White like the way he gets the W?
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