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What is UFC’s Dana White’s Contender Series?

Season 6 of the UFC special series will begin Tuesday, July 26.

Greg Hardy reacts after his TKO loss to Serghei Spivac of Moldova in their heavyweight fight during the UFC 272 event on March 05, 2022 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC

Have you ever wondered how Dana White finds fighters to offer contracts to for the UFC? From scouts to The Ultimate Fighter television show, White has ample opportunities to find the best mixed martial arts fighters worldwide. The most recent is a promotion that releases weekly web series. Dana White’s Contender Series is heading into its sixth season as it returns on Tuesday, July 26, from the UFC APEX in Las Vegas, Nevada at 8 p.m. ET on ESPN+.

The premise is simple enough: fight for your chance at a UFC contract. Each episode typically hosts five matches. Each winner isn’t guaranteed a contract, but the fighters that stand out most to the judges could earn one. The panel includes UFC president Dana White and matchmakers Mick Maynard and Sean Shelby. Theoretically, you could have up to 10 contracts offered if everyone impressed, but currently, the record is five fighters all receiving a deal. Alternatively, in Season 3, one episode saw just one fighter, Philip Rowe, earning a contract.

If you go through the list of fighters that earned contracts through Dana White Contender’s Series, you will see names you recognize. Season 4’s Orion Cosce will be featured in a welterweight bout against Blood Diamond to kick off Saturday’s UFC 277 early preliminary card, with Season 3’s Don’Tale Mayes in action as well. Greg Hardy from Season 2, Sean O’Malley from Season 1, Season Brazil’s Marina Rodriguez and Season 5’s Maheshate and Jack Della Maddalena all earned their UFC shot through the web series.