Mayes defeated Ricardo Prasel via TKO (punches) at 4:59 of Round 1 at Dana White's Tuesday Night Contender Series. He was one of four fighters awarded a UFC contract on the evening.
This was the third Contender Series appearance for Mayes, who was finally able to earn a UFC roster spot. He lost to current UFC heavyweight Allen Crowder in 2017, but bounced back with a second-round victory over Mitchell Sipe last July. That wasn't enough to earn him a contract, but after just under a year on the sidelines, Mayes cashed in a breakthrough performance. His striking ability and takedown defense were both evident in this one, and Mayes also displayed the aggressiveness Dana White is looking for. With 10 seconds left in the first round, Mayes blitzed his opponent and ultimately recorded a buzzer-beating finish. Standing at 6-6 with a 82-inch reach, he possesses a large frame, even for the highest weight class in the promotion. The 27-year-old will add some much-needed depth to the heavyweight division.