Romero wins on Dana White’s Contender Series, not given contract

Anthony Romero speaks at Pinnacle FC 12 after beating Matt Shaffer.

LAS VEGAS — Canadian lightweight Anthony (The Genius) Romero won a decision over (Money) Mike Breeden on Tuesday on Dana White’s Contender Series but failed to leave with a UFC contract.

The Contender Series, held at the UFC Apex production facility, offers fighters a chance to impress the UFC president — and possibly earn a UFC deal.

The judges scored it 30-26, 30-27 and 29-28 for Romero. But White pointed out that the 23-year-old from Welland, Ont., failed to finish his damaged opponent and had trouble when Breeden switched to southpaw.

“He’s 23 years old, he’s a young kid. I absolutely positively think he’s going to be in the UFC some day. Just not tonight,” said White.

Romero (8-0-0) was the busier fighter in the first round. He took Breeden down twice in the second round and punished the American with leg kicks.

The 31-year-old Breeden (8-3-0) got Romero’s attention late in the round with a knee to the head but was limping as he went back to his corner.

Breeden’s leg buckled repeatedly in the third as Romero kept lashing him with kicks. But despite the damage from 25 kicks in total, Breeden kept coming forward and swinging.

“Those calf kicks were nasty,” said Romero. “My legs are actually hurting from them so you know they’re pretty hard.”

“He’s super-tough … He has a lot of heart,” he said of Breeden.

Featherweight T.J. (The Truth) Laramie is the only Canadian to earn a contract on the Contender Series, now in its fourth season. He won his way into the promotion on Aug. 11 when injured opponent Daniel (Agent Orange) Swain was unable to come out for the second round.

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