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AJ Fletcher embraced his nervousness leading up to DWCS victory

AJ Fletcher embraced his nervousness leading up to DWCS victory


AJ Fletcher used his nervousness to his advantage before knocking out Leonardo Damiani with a flying knee on Dana White’s Contender Series.

You only get one chance to make a good first impression, and AJ Fletcher exceeded expectations with an incredible knockout over Leonardo Damiani during the 2021 opener of Dana White’s Contender Series.

Fletcher, who entered the DWCS bout with an 8-0 record in successful stints with promotions such as Fury FC and iKon Fighting made the most of his opportunity with a vicious flying knee that knocked Damiani old cold to start the night at the UFC Apex.

Fletcher looked like a man possessed during his first taste of fighting on the UFC level and admits that he was nervous leading up to the walkouts.


“I was honest with myself that this was a big fight,” Fletcher said during his post-fight interview. “I didn’t have to run from being nervous or anything, I had to embrace those feelings and soaked them in. I wanted something spectacular to come out of those feelings rather than let them melt me.”

Following the incredible finish, Fletcher learned that he earned a UFC contract from UFC president Dana White.  The UFC headman was extremely generous, offering Fletcher and four other fighters contracts to kick off the 2021 DWCS season.

AJ Fletcher earned a UFC contract after the viral knockout

Fletcher is a pupil of UFC lightweight contender Dustin Poirier, who trains with Fletcher in Lafayette, LA. Fletcher certainly made his mentor proud and will enter his UFC career with plenty of momentum.

It’s not an easy stage to compete on with the amount of pressure associated with DWCS, but Fletcher seized the moment and made a dream come true in his athletic career.


Follow along with FanSided MMA for all your Dana White Contender Series news and highlights. We’ll be cageside bringing you live updates, results and backstage interviews.