Updated: Oct 14
#1 ranked NEMMA light heavyweight, William "The Nightmare" Knight (8-1), scored the biggest win of his career with an impressive performance on Dana White's Contender Series on Tuesday night. After signing a UFC developmental deal last year after his first appearance on the Contender Series, Knight went 2-1 on the regional scene before getting another invite to fly to Vegas and perform in front of the most powerful man in the sport.
It was almost a guarantee that if Knight performed well in a victory that he'd receive a full-fledged contract from the organization, so the pressure was on and it wasn't going to be an easy task. Knight was pitted against a very tough, undefeated fighter in Cody Brundage (5-1) for his 2nd showcase on the series. Knight came in as a slight underdog to Brundage from a betting perspective, but that didn't deter "The Nightmare" from implementing his power striking game plan.
It didn't look good for Knight out of the gates, as Brundage got a takedown and took Knight's back. After getting both hooks in and flattening out Knight, the Michigan native started landing some heavy punches to the ears. A stoppage wasn't far away, and Herb Dean warned Knight to improve position, which he did shortly thereafter. Knight was able to power out of the compromised position, and work his way back to his feet. Brundage aggressively shot in for a double leg against the cage, and this was the beginning of the end.
As Brundage dug for the double leg against the cage, Knight unloaded a flurry of elbows to the side of Brundage's dome. After about the 3rd or 4th blow, Brundage dropped to a knee and looked to be rocked by the strikes. He eventually crumpled to the mat where Knight delivered the final punches to his downed opponent, and Herb Dean was forced to step in and stop the bout.
Initially the blows looked close to being illegal, but once the replay was aired it was clear that the strikes were completely legal. An impressive quick comeback performance by Knight had all but sealed his fate, and Dana White obliged by offering the Connecticut native a spot on the UFC's light heavyweight roster. Congrats to Will Knight for achieving that dream of breaking into the UFC! We look for big things to come from Knight on the world's stage, and we know he'll represent New England MMA proudly.