Following the likes of Lafayette fighters Dustin Poirier, Daniel Cormier, Alan Jouban, and his coach Tim Credeur, AJ "The Ghost" Fletcher (9-0-0) is making his official UFC debut this Saturday (March 12) on UFC Fight Night.

 

Dana White's Contender Series

Fletcher kicked off the return of Dana White's Contender Series in August in spectacular fashion when he ended his opponent's undefeated streak. He took on Italian mma fighter Leonardo Damiani in a Welterweight fight at the UFC Apex. The fight didn't get through the first round as Fletcher threw a flying knee when Damiani was against the cage and had nowhere to retreat. The knee landed in the sweet spot, and Damiani was out.

 

 

The point of Dana White's Contender Series is to impress the boss-man enough to earn a UFC contract. And what better way to impress than that? White was certainly impressed enough with Fletcher's win over Damiani, who White described as a "tough kid, real guy" and "legit", to award him the first contract of the season.

[Skip to 2:18 to hear Dana talk about AJ]

 

 

Since receiving a UFC contract for his showing on DWCS, Fletcher has been not-so-patiently waiting for his REAL debut. Now he's got that chance, this Saturday versus a formidable opponent in Matthew Semelsberger in a Welterweight bout.

 

 

AJ Fletcher is 9-0-0 in his MMA professional career, with four KO's and four submissions.

While Fletcher was born in Baton Rouge, he graduated from UL, and fights out of Gladiators Academy in Lafayette. That only means that more people in areas of the state, or perhaps the WHOLE state, will be behind him this Saturday night!

Battle Plan

The UFC released the fighting lineup for Saturday, with Fletcher fighting out of the Blue corner in the last fight of the Prelims for UFC Fight Night: Santos vs Ankalaev. You can watch the full card on ESPN+ this Saturday night starting at 3pm CT.

And if you want to watch a little more of his fight on Dana White's Contender Series along with White's reaction when it happened, here ya go!

We'll be rooting for you from Lafayette, Ghost! LFG!!

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Sometimes images are the best way to honor the figures we've lost. When tragedy swiftly reminds us that sports are far from the most consequential thing in life, we can still look back on an athlete's winning moment that felt larger than life, remaining grateful for their sacrifice on the court and bringing joy to millions.

Read on to explore the full collection of 50 images Stacker compiled showcasing various iconic winning moments in sports history. Covering achievements from a multitude of sports, these images represent stunning personal achievements, team championships, and athletic perseverance.