Dana White’s Tuesday Night Contender Series is one of the most popular new UFC run-off products. Since its creation, fans clamored over the intense format and high-level prospect duels. Now in the months leading to its third season, another high profile matchup was added to Season 3. Sources confirmed to MMASucka that LFA bantamweight champion Miles Johns takes on Richie Santiago for week 2 of DWTNCS on June 25th.
Richie Santiago vs. Miles Johns
The addition of Santiago marks the 4th New England prospect to compete on the third season of the show. Alongside Santiago, on the Season 3 DWTNCS roster is William Knight, Fabio Cherant, and Justin Sumter. As of now, Santiago is the only New England fighter with a confirmed opponent.
New Englanders Invade Vegas
Of the 4 New Englanders traveling to Las Vegas, Nevada for the opportunity to earn a UFC contract, Sumter and Santiago are the most experienced. After wrestling in high school, Santiago continued his combat sports journey and joined Rivera Athletic Center in his hometown of Milford, Massachusetts. Rivera Athletic Center was run by UFC veteran Jorge Rivera.
Despite his wrestling experience and quality training, the beginning of Santiago’s amateur career fell short of expectations. ‘The Milford Mauler’ lost 3 of his first 4 amateur bouts. Yet the disappointing start did not deter him. Santiago won his next four bouts. That stretch included earning and defending the Cage Titans amateur flyweight title.
His run continued in the pro ranks as he racked up a 6-0 record before receiving his first and only professional loss. As a professional, Santiago has shown dazzling submission skills. Of his 7 victories, 6 came by way of rear-naked choke submission. Overall, his finishing rate is an impressive 100% in the pro ranks. Most recently, Santiago submitted New England veteran Billy Giovanella at CES 53 with a rear-naked choke in the very first round.
LFA Champ: Miles Johns
On the other end of the matchup sits LFA bantamweight champion, Miles Johns. Johns is a formidable fighter with an impressive undefeated record that sits at 8-0. He trains out of the newly successful Texas gym, Fortis MMA. Fortis MMA is home to a list of top-notch fighters (Ryan Spann, Diego Ferreira, Damon Jackson, Geoff Neal, Abdul Razak Alhassan, and many more).
Not only does Johns train with high-level competition but his resume is littered with top prospects who fell by his hand. His last three opponents records combine for an incredible 23-5. Not only has he fought top competition but he’s experienced the bright lights. Johns fought for the LFA organization 4 times, including 2 title fights.
Although Johns has a deep portfolio of experience, the LFA champion hasn’t fought for nearly one year. His last bout came at LFA 55. At the event, Miles Johns defended his LFA title against Adrian Yanez. Johns won the closely contested bout by split decision to retain his title. Since LFA attempted to schedule a second title defense for LFA 62. The organization originally pitted Johns against Vincent Cachero in the headlining bout of the event. After a hand injury, Johns withdrew from the bout and LFA flyweight champion Casey Kenney stepped in to fight Cachero for the interim bantamweight title.