Canadian welterweight Mike (Proper) Malott is headed to the UFC after a 39-second submission win on Dana White's Contender Series.
The 29-year-old from Burlington, Ont., was awarded a UFC contract after stopping Israel's Shimon (Assassin) Smotritsky via guillotine choke Tuesday night in Las Vegas. Smotritsky tried to take Malott (7-1-1) down, only to find his neck trapped. It was the second-fastest submission in the show's six-season history.
"Thirty-nine seconds. This kid is 7-1. Big, strong, tough, durable, Canadian," said White, president of the UFC.
All seven of Malott's wins have come in the first round.
Malott, who trains and serves as a coach with Team Alpha Male in Sacramento, Calif., called it an emotional moment
"This has been something I've wanted since I was 12, 13 years old," said Malott. "And I've been training consistently since then. I've put a lot of work into this, more than half of my life has been dedicated to this. I moved across North America to pursue my dream and get better training. (I've) sacrificed things as far as being away from my family and away from a lot of my friends. But other than not being able to spend time with my family, it doesn't feel like sacrificing. This is what I want to do."
"It's a blessing to be able to do what you love for a living," he added. "And now I get to make an actual living doing it."
Smotritsky had won all seven previous fights. Malott's lone loss was to current UFC fighter (Mean) Hakeem Dawodu in October 2014 at WSOF 14 in Edmonton.
The Contender Series, held at the UFC's Apex production facility, offers fighters a chance to impress the UFC president — and possibly earn a UFC deal.
Malott joins bantamweight Chad (The Monster) Anheliger, who trains in Calgary but calls suburban Airdrie home, and featherweight T.J. (The Truth) Laramie of Windsor, Ont., as Canadians to earn UFC contracts on Dana White's Contender Series.
Malott's younger brother Jeff is in the Winnipeg Jets organization, scoring in a 3-2 pre-season loss to Vancouver on Sunday.
A product of Cornell University, Jeff Malott split last season between the AHL's Manitoba Moose and ECHL's Florida Everblades.
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This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 6, 2021
Neil Davidson, The Canadian Press