Julius Anglickas came away with one victory on Tuesday night, just not the one he really wanted.
The Southampton alumnus defeated Karl Reed with a third-round submission during Dana White’s Contender Series, but it wasn’t enough to earn a UFC contract from White, the promotion’s president seated cageside.
Anglickas ended the bout with a rear-naked choke at 3:25 of the third round after grappling for much of the fight with Reed, who tired in the closing frame.
“It played out the way I thought it was going to be,” Anglickas said in his post-fight interview. “I really gave him a lot of credit for being quick and funky, but I think I gave him too much credit on the stand-up. I felt a little better. But I felt myself a little off, I felt a little tired right off the bat. I don’t know why, I train all the time so I think overtraining maybe played a little part in it. But I came out on top, it’s a tough sport and I’m glad to be part of it.”
Anglickas was the only winner at Tuesday's event not to be awarded a contract. Tony Gravely, Sarah Alpar, Brok Weaver and William Knight all were selected to join the promotion.
“I felt like Reed gassed in the first round and Julius didn’t go after him like he should have.” White said. "He’s 7-1 right now, he’s only 28 years old, he’s in his prime, There’s a lot of things I think this guy needs to work on to fill in the holes and become a well-rounded fighter."
Anglickas was able to stay strong in the first round, defending a takedown and turning Reed into the cage, going for his own takedown attempt. He initially was unsuccessful, eating a few hard elbows, but got Reed down to the ground briefly. After a short burst of stand-up action, Reed threw Anglickas for a big slam, landing atop Anglickas. As the round came to an end, the fighters rose to their feet, and Anglickas was able to land a few punches to send Reed running at the horn.
In the second round, both fighters attempted to pick their shots with Reed landing a clean shot before Anglickas went back to his takedown offense. With Reed on the canvas, Anglickas was able to land a few hard punches to Reed. After a brief stoppage, Reed landed a big head kick, prompting Anglickas to storm across the cage for a takedown, but he couldn’t hold Reed down for long. Reed went back to the head kick, using it to open up a takedown. Anglickas had to absorb a few strong strikes as he returned to his feet, but returned the favor with his own punches close to the end of the frame.
“I thought I was going to strike with him more,” Anglickas said. Somehow it just felt natural to grapple with him.”
Early in the third round, both fighters were more willing to throw strikes on their feet, but neither did much damage. Soon, however, Anglickas got Reed into the clinch and landed some heavy knees, landing a few more strikes against the cage before securing a takedown against a gassed Reed. Eventually, Anglickas found his way to Reed’s back, throwing punches to wear down Reed. That opened up a chance at the choke, which Anglickas took full advantage of. Soon after getting his arm around Reed’s neck, Anglickas squeezed, forcing Reed to tap the canvas and end the fight.
“I think it’s just [his] will slowly disappearing. He wasn’t going to give me that at first,” Anglickas said. “Adding some strikes, beating him up, I felt his will slowly getting smaller. I think it was a time where I went for it and he gave it to me.”
Anglickas, from St. Louis by way of Long Island by way of Lithuania, entered the evening as the reigning LFA light heavyweight champion with hopes of representing his home country in the UFC.
“It would be big, we are a proud country and I know they would love to see one of theirs on the big stage.“
White, however, said it wasn't Anglickas' time.
“Great record, he’s at the perfect age now to fix some things," White said. “I think he’ll eventually get here, just not tonight.”