Australian based fighter Dylan Andrews has progressed from The Ultimate Fighter Season 17 series with a dominant first-round knockout in his UFC debut on the TUF 17 Finale card at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas on Saturday night.
Andrews made it to the semifinals of the show, where he lost to eventual runner-up Uriah Hall via knockout, but the 33-year-old wanted to make a statement in his UFC debut.
“Ever since I got on The Ultimate Fighter, I didn’t want to be a shadow in the series,” Andrews said. “I had to perform and I had to show people that I could fight. I really wanted to make the finale, but I was given another opportunity here and I wanted to show them I’m still hungry no matter what happens.”
Andrews wasn’t selected for the recent TUF Australia vs. UK series and was forced to travel to America to audition for Season 17, but the New Zealand born fighter now knows that it happened for a reason.
“I did audition for the Australian TUF series, but didn’t make it for whatever reason,” Andrews confirmed. “Everything happens for a reason, I didn’t make The Smashes because I wanted to be on the No. 1 The Ultimate Fighter of all time.
“There was a tremendous amount of pressure on me. This is where I want to be. I’m a fan of the UFC and I know what needs to be done. I know what Dana White and the UFC require, and that’s good fights. Win or lose you know you’re going to get a fight from me.”
There are no immediate plans for the family man to leave Australia for training, but Andrews is happy to do whatever needs to be done to be competitive.
“I’ll go wherever I need to go. I’m very comfortable back home (in Australia), I’m a family man and I train at my best with my family around. My kids are at the gym everyday with me, I feed off them.”
The victory was made sweeter for Andrews after it was announced that he would receive a $25,000 bonus for “Fight of the Season” after his quarterfinal war with Luke Barnatt in the TUF house.
Andrews reached out to UFC president, Dana White after the fight via Twitter asking for a fight on the UFC 160 card alongside his good mates James Te Huna and Mark Hunt. “Hey @danawhite I want UFC 160 with my brothers @JamesTeHuna @markhunt1974 Make it happen boss!
“This is crazy,” Andrews concluded. “It feels like something unbelievable has happened to me.”
(Follow @AndrewPMMA on Twitter)