Ranking all the DWCS Season 1 contract winners

Season 1 of DWCS produced a bantamweight champion but what about the other UFC contract winners?
UFC 269 Press Conference
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2. Alex Perez

At UFC 283, Jamahal Hill became the first DWCS alum to become a UFC champion. However, at UFC 255, Perez was the first fighter from the show to challenge for the title in 2020.

Perez would lose in his lone championship opportunity to date against Deiveson Figueiredo but has remained in the top 10 since submitting Jordan Espinosa in 2020. Perez has gained a negative reputation amongst fans for his lack of activity in recent years but is a respectable 7-4 in the UFC through six years.

Initially submitting Kevin Gray on week five of DWCS, Perez entered the flyweight division just as the chaos of Dana White threatening to rid of the weight class was at its peak. Regardless, he would go 4-1 in his first five fights to set up his chance at gold with Figueiredo in one of the first pay-per-view held at the UFC APEX.

Since losing to Figueiredo, Perez went on a three-fight losing streak that spanned four years but essentially saved his spot on the roster at UFC Vegas 91 with a stunning knockout of Matheus Nicolau in the main event. Following the win, Perez has claimed to want to make up for lost time as he is booked to face undefeated prospect Tatsuro Taira in June 2024.

1. Sean O'Malley

Not only is O'Malley the top-ranked fighter from the first season of DWCS but he sits at the top of the list of fighters to ever compete on the show.

As of 2024, O'Malley is only one of two DWCS products to become a champion, being the second to do so after Jamahal Hill. O'Malley, however, has seen his stock rise through the roof as a UFC fighter, being one of the most popular active fighters while still seeing his potential grow.

Aside from his UFC debut in 2017, O'Malley has only fought on pay-per-view events with all but one of those fights being on the main card.

His knockout of Alfred Khashakyan on the second week of the series is still often replayed in promotion of the show, as it got Dana White to rise out of his seat while Snoop Dogg screamed his name repeatedly into the microphone. After flooring Khashakyan with one punch, O'Malley would jump onto the cage and welcome White to the "Suga' Show," thus beginning the gimmick he has kept up to this day.

Since entering the UFC, O'Malley has just one official loss on his record, a TKO defeat to Marlon Vera in 2020 that came as the result of foot drop, a temporary nerve damage injury.

The setback would prove to be minor, as O'Malley finished Aljamain Sterling three years later in the main event of UFC 292 to become the bantamweight champion. In his following fight, O'Malley would avenge his loss to Vera with a unanimous decision win as his first title defense.

Since improving to 18-1 with the win over Vera at UFC 299, O'Malley is expected to defend his title later in 2024 against surging contender Merab Dvalishvili.


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