Alonzo Menifield has seemingly been on the cusp of reaching the Ultimate Fighting Championship for a while now.
Big wins under prominent promotions in high-profile bouts have kept on coming for the former Glendale Community College standout linebacker, but a UFC contract eluded him despite his undefeated record full of nothing but finishes.
That all changed on Tuesday night in the blink of an eye.
In just eight seconds, Menifield demolished the previously undefeated Dashawn Boatwright in the first round of a light heavyweight bout on “Dana White’s Tuesday Night Contenders Series” at the UFC Center in Las Vegas.
It was the fastest knockout in the history of the show.
“I came out, he came out and I got it,” said Menifield, who improved to 7-0, in a postfight interview on the broadcast. “He starts off with kicks, so I thought to step in as soon as he did it, and it worked.”
Boatwright (3-1) threw a naked kick to start as Menifield threw a one-two combo with the overhand right connecting under Boatwright’s eye and sending him to the canvas. Menifield pounced, followed his opponent to the canvas and unleashed a barrage of left hands as the referee halted the bout.
Shortly thereafter, Menifield was awarded a UFC contract by White, the UFC president.
“Obviously he looked spectacular tonight, so he’s in,” White said postfight. “If he fights like he fought tonight, who knows what can happen to the kid. He looked great; explosive, athletic, fast, strong.”
Menifield has won all seven of his bouts via stoppage with six via knockout.
One of those wins was also on the contender series, which streams live on UFC Fight pass, as Menifield defeated Daniel Jolly on July 25 of last year in a somewhat anti-climactic technical knockout when the bout was stopped due to an eye injury.
“Last season we had Menifield here and we sent him away and said come back when you get more experience,” White said, “and he did that.”
Menifield, 30, collected two wins after his victory over Jolly for the Legacy Fighting Alliance organization, with both bouts airing live on AXS TV.
Finally on Tuesday, Menifield got the big win that turned into his biggest win as he’s bound for the UFC.
“It’s been a learning experience fighting in [smaller organizations] and having this opportunity now, it feels great, I feel like I’m on another level,” Menifield said. “I plan to be a top dog at 205 and make my name known in that division.