Updated: Aug 6
Over the past handful of days there has been some cryptic social media posts by two top ranked pro fighters in New England, signaling that they could be making a UFC appearance very soon.
NEMMA #1 ranked bantamweight, Jay "Joker" Perrin (9-4), got the suspicion started with the Facebook post below.
It's pretty easy to connect the dots on this one, as the UFC is the only show in Vegas right now. Dana White's Contender Series has become a summertime tradition for up and coming fighters to showcase their talents in front of the most powerful man in the sport, and audition for a full-time contract with the UFC. The series commenced yesterday as week 1 got underway. There are 9 more weeks of season 4 that runs through early October, and there are plenty of fights to be matched still. If I were a gambling man, which I am, I'd say that Perrin's agent, Jason House, got a call from the UFC for Perrin to make his 2nd appearance on the series this summer.
Exactly one year ago tomorrow, "Joker" dropped a controversial decision to Dwight Joseph where Dana White himself commented that he thought that Perrin should have won the fight, and the judges got it wrong. You would think that this would resonate with the boss and his organization, so it's likely he was on the short list of fighters to get the call this season. Since that loss, Perrin dispatched a very tough Diego Silva (12-5) in January at Cage Titans 47, and he's also claimed the top spot in our NEMMA pro bantamweight rankings this summer.
Keep an eye out for an announcement soon, as Perrin has made it known that he'll be traveling to Vegas very soon for a matchup to be determined.
Yesterday another top ranked fighter seemed to hint at making a trip west, as #1 ranked pro lightweight, Joe "Skelator" Giannetti (9-2-1), posted the following on his Facebook account:
Reading between the lines, it looks as though Giannetti has posted a picture of his signature with a few emojis to accompany it, telling us in so many words that he's signed on the dotted line for an upcoming fight. He also hash tagged the UFC and DWCS, and when we start adding these things together, you can surmise that he'll also be getting a 2nd chance to break into the organization soon. He's most likely signed to fight on the Contender Series like Perrin, as he's already competed on The Ultimate Fighter back in 2018, losing in the finals to Mike Trizano by split decision. Often times the losing finalist of TUF would get signed by the promotion, but the lackluster performance against Trizano didn't bode well for him, and he was left off the UFC roster.
"Skeletor" has been extremely vocal about getting another shot at landing a contract with the UFC, but that call hasn't come the past 2 years. It seems as though Giannetti's wishes have been granted when you read into his recent Facebook post. Giannetti has gone 3-1-1 since he fought in the finals of TUF 27, beating #8 ranked LW Connor Barry (6-3), battling to a draw with #4 ranked LW Josh Harvey (7-1), besting Kennan Raymond (3-8) and Roberto Yong (7-18-2), while dropping a decision to D'Juan Owens (18-15-1).
The South Shore Sportfighting prospect has a funky striking game and serious submission chops on the mat. He's hungry, talented, and he just turned 25 years old. Now is the time to capitalize, and don't look for Giannetti to fall short this time around.
Although neither of these fighters have confirmed that they'll be fighting on the Contender Series, keep a close eye for an announcement in the coming weeks that both of these top ranked New England fighters will be heading west to capture that ever-illusive UFC contract.