Chris Unger / DWCS LLC / Zuffa LLC
A general view of the Octagon ahead of Dana White’s Contender Series Season 4 Week One at UFC APEX on August 04, 2020 in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Dana White and his team have been very generous in the first two weeks of the fifth season of Dana White’s Contender Series, and 12 more fighters will have the chance to win a UFC contract during the third episode on Tuesday, September 14, 2021 to receive ESPN.
The third week of the season is led by a light heavyweight bout between Brazilian Jailton Almeida and Russian Nasurdin Nasrudinov. Together with the headliner Mo Miller takes on Brandon Lewis in the bantamweight division, Albert Duraev meets Caio Bittencourt in the middleweight division, Lukasz Brezeski meets in the heavyweight division against Dylan Potter, Jack Della Maddalena meets in the welterweight division against Ange Loosa and Jasmine Jasudavicius challenges Julia Polastri in the women’s flyweight division .
White has awarded 10 contracts in the first two weeks of this DWCS season, with each winner earning a spot in the UFC, along with a losing competitor, Carlos Candelario, whom White thought had done enough to be victorious. Candelario with contracts is joined by his opponent Victor Altamirano, along with AJ Fletcher, Joanderson Brito and Azamat Murzakanov from the first episode of the season and Chad Anheliger, CJ Vergara, Saimon Oliveira, Chidi Njoukuani and Josh Quinlan from the second episode.In their preview of the third episode, the UFC said, « Where earlier the high points of the roles were key to hearing your name at the end of the night, things have apparently changed this season as White has been more grateful from brave efforts and hard-fought decisive wins than in previous years. «
Here’s a preview of every fight in the Dana White Contender Series Season 5, Week 3 and a selection of who will win:
Brazilian light heavyweight Jailton » Malhadinho “Almeida joins the Dana White’s Contender Series matchup on Tuesday with undefeated Russian candidate Nasrudin Nasrudinov as an outsider, but with more professional experience and wins over two UFC veterans. The 30-year-old fighter holds victories over Ildemar Alcantara and Ednaldo Oliveira, who both fought in the UFC.
Almeida has won eight fights in a row according to his Tapology record, all within the distance. During his career, Almeida has five wins by knockout or TKO and eight wins by submission. He hasn’t lost since 2018. He also participated in the Submission Circus Grappling Event in Brazil in May 2021 and won four bouts by submission.
The 6’4 ″ tall Almeida has an MMA fight in 2021, a win over Edvaldo de Oliveira in the Thunder Fight 24 on February and he was victorious in three fights in 2020, defeating Alcantara and Leonardo Vasconcelos. He was the first fighter to ever subdue Alcantara. Almeida has trained with UFC heavyweight Carlos « Boi » Felipe in the past and, according to his Instagram, was in his corner during his UFC fight in Abu Dhabi in January 2021.
Almeida has been on the UFC’s radar for some time. In December, Cageside Press’s Shawn Bitter named him a light heavyweight to sign the UFC in 2021, and MMA Fighting’s Guilherme Cruz named him one of the top 10 prospects in Brazil in February 2021. After this victory, « Malhadinho » compared himself to Khabib Nurmagamedov during an interview with Cruz. He also said at the time that he thought he was already UFC eligible and didn’t have to prove himself in the Contender Series.
« It’s a different Khabib-style game. Nobody can stop this game, ”he told MMA Fighting. “I’m very versatile, I can act on my feet and pull you down. I watch a lot of videos of Khabib and try to make his game the best I can. It’s an aggressive style, takedowns and submissions or ground and pound finish. Khabib is a reference for me. … I want to go straight to the UFC and kick the door down. I’m calling for the top contenders and I’ll try after my first win there. ”
The 29-year-old Nasrudinov is unbeaten in his career, which began in 2013. His last four wins in the Russian Absolute Championship Akhmat promotion, including a medical break in his last fight against Evgeny Egemberdiev at ACA 107 in July 2020, and a majority decision win over « Ultimate Fighter Season 23 » and PFL veteran Cory Hendricks at ACA 105 in March 2020.
Nasrudinov, fighting out of Moscow, also has a win over Jorge Gonzalez, who signed with the UFC in 2020 but canceled three fights before being suspended by USADA in September after being Tested positive for several banned substances, MMA Fighting reported. Nasrudinov defeated Gonzalez by TKO at ACA 97 in August 2019. Nasrudinov has four wins by KO or TKO, one win by filing, and four wins by decision, according to Tapology.
Nasrudinov, who is six inches shorter by ten centimeters as Almeida, trained with UFC middleweight Nassourdin Imavov in June, according to his Instagram page. Bitter also included Nasrudinov on his list of 10 light heavyweight candidates for the UFC to sign in 2021. Against Gonzalez, Nasrudinov was able to shake the Mexican fighter with a hard right hand when Gonzalez tried to push him into the fence. He didn’t push the finish line and ended the lap with a takedown. Nasrudinov then used a single-leg takedown to get Gonzalez back on the mat less than a minute into the second round and was able to fend off a Kimura attempt by Gonzalez. From then on, he dominated, took Gonzalez back, and delivered heavy soil and pounds to end the fight.
Against Hendricks, the two men spent the first three minutes of the fight wrestling along the cage, neither of them could bring others to the ground. But Nasrudinov was able to overwhelm Hendricks and reverse his takedown attempt to take the lead with just over two minutes to go on the first lap. The fight bounced back late in the round, and Nasrudinov discharged heavy punches, throwing him off balance with one blow that sent him onto his back. Nasrudinov was able to control much of the second round after a takedown, but he couldn’t threaten a finish.
Nasrudinov quickly took the American fighter to the ground to begin the third round, and after controlling him for more than a minute, Hendricks used a hip twist to get on his knees and Nasrudinov took his back. The Russian was in danger when Hendricks turned him around and nearly took Nasrudinov back. He attempted an Omoplota submission, but Nasrudinov fought his way out and came back to the top where he stayed for the remainder of the fight and took a decisive victory.
Both men will likely be in the UFC at some point in the near future, too when the loser needs to make a second appearance on DWCS. This should be a close fight, but Almeida’s size and submission could give him a small advantage. Almeida has spoken about fighting in the UFC heavyweight division in the future, while Nasrudinov could have a future middleweight division. Almeida should win a contract with a win.
Two undefeated American bantamweight contenders face one another in the penultimate bout of the night, with Brandon Miller of Tampa, Florida facing Ohio’s Mo Miller.
24-year-old « Superman » Lewis, who was born in Connecticut, returned to MMA for the first time since 2017 at LFA 102 in March 2021, defeating Jimmy Meza by split decision. Lewis previously defeated Cameron Miller at LFA 16 and had three wins at the RFC in Florida. He also had a 7-1 amateur record from 2013-2016. As a professional, Lewis has two KO / TKO wins, two decision wins and one submission.
Lewis was marginalized after breaking himself, according to Tapology Broke a disk in his back while lifting weights in 2017, he told The Scrap. He told the website, “I had no health insurance at the time and just focused on work for a while. I had health insurance, but it took a year to plan the operation. Then I had an operation and it took me about six months to recover and finally get back into training. After six to eight months in the gym, I wanted to start another fight. It was like a three and a half year layoff from one fight to another. … It allowed me to sit back a little and just get used to another person and another fighter. I’m glad I had this experience and now I know how to train a lot smarter. ”
The 5’4 ″ Lewis was a big favorite over the 29-year-old Meza at LFA 102 despite the long break was able to fight his way through several hard punches from Meza in a reciprocating first round. He showed off impressive combinations, including a left-to-right cross to the body in a wheel kick that ricocheted off Meza’s head. On the second lap, Lewis dropped Meza with a right flank, but could not finish him. Both men slowed down on lap three, but Lewis kept hitting hard. It showed impressive volume from start to finish and won two of the three judge scorecards.
The « Mo Show » Miller is a teammate of former UFC heavyweight champion Stipe Miocic on the Strong Style Fight Team in Cleveland, Ohio. The 29-year-old has also fought twice in the LFA, most recently at LFA 96, and won in the second round by slam knockout in December 2020. over Regivaldo Carvalho choking in September 2020. He also has two post-game wins and one decisive win in the Ohio regional scene and was 6-0 as an amateur.
Miller was an outstanding college wrestler in the NCAA Division II at Notre Dame College and placed three times in the national D2 championships. Miller told MMA Prospects in 2020 that his love for mixed martial arts goes beyond wrestling. “I started Taekwondo when I was 6 years old. My parents kind of made me and my brothers. [In] fifth grade I wanted to try wrestling when I saw a flyer at my school about the upcoming youth season. «
He told MMA Sucka in 2019, » I definitely enjoy using my hands more than before. I’m not a boxer, but I’m ready to throw. I’ve had good kicks from my Taekdowndo background, but Strong Style made me really comfortable with my hands. They taught me good technique and good habits. “I think I’m pretty versatile, even as a debutante. I feel good everywhere. I know what to look for in jiu-jitsu, I’m pretty good at boxing and muay thai, taekwondo, wrestling. I would say I’m a freestyle fighter. I take what’s there. I like to get a feel for my opponents and then move on. ”
In the first round of his fight against Carvalho, Miller went straight to the wrestling, got his opponent on the mat and then controlled him against the fence as he did got back on his feet before knocking him back to the ground with a huge suplex takedown. He dominated the round and controlled Carvalho on the mat. In the second round, Miller fought his way through a few hard punches, resisting sharp elbows to the head while trying to topple Carvalho and knocking him out with a slam with two minutes to go.
Millers All-American NCAA wrestling ability gives him a clear advantage in this fight. Lewis is gruff and has shown the ability to fight hard for three full rounds. But Miller should be able to bring him down and control him on the mat. With the way Dana White has been handing out contracts during this DWCS season, Miller would likely earn a spot in the UFC with a win with his wrestling pedigree and ties to Miocic.
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Russian Albert Duraev and Brazilian Caio Bittencourt are both returning to MMA for a middleweight title for the first time since 2018. Duraev and Bittencourt both come to the Contender Series after the long break with winning streaks in eight fights.
The 32-year-old Chechen has eight wins by filing, three wins by KO / TKO and two wins by decision during his career, which began in 2011, according to Tapology. The Contender Series fight will be his first fight outside of Russia. His last fight was a decisive win over Piotr Strus at ACB 89. He holds victories over UFC, Bellator and WSOF veteran Clifford Starks and UFC veteran Sergey Khandozhko. Two of his losses are Ramazan Emeev from UFC and Anatoly Tokov from Bellator.
« Machete » Duraev, represented by Ali Abdelaziz, trained at Xtreme Couture in Las Vegas, according to Instagram. Duraev is the former ACB middleweight and welterweight champion. He has shown strong wrestling and solid batting throughout his career.
While Duraev has faced former UFC fighters and solid challengers in Russia, Bittencourt didn’t have the highest level of competition in the Brazilian regional -0 fighter scene, a 5-6 -Fighter and two fighters who have no tapology record.
« Leao » Bittencourt lost one of his toughest tests against Tiago Verejao in 2013 with 18: 1. He started his career with a 6-5 record, including two losses to UFC veteran Tiago Trator. Bittencourt is unknown and it is unclear how many improvements he made during his absence from combat. In his last fight in June 2018, he finished Adilson Ferreira with a 50-second knockout.
The Russian has fought for a higher level of competition. But the long layoffs for both men leave many questions unanswered as they go into battle. Duraev has trained with top trainers at Xtreme Couture and with several UFC fighters during his time outside the cage. Duraev should get a deal and will try to end the fight from the start.
Heavyweights Lukasz Brzeski from Poland and Dylan Potter from Olympia, Washington, both want to make a big impact on the Contender Series. Potter joins the fight on short notice, replacing Lorenzo Hood, while Brzeski had several weeks to prepare for his DWCS appearance. He was originally supposed to face Hood in the first week of season five, on August 31st.
Brzeski is unbeaten in a series of six fights, three TKO wins and one submission win, as well as a decisive win and a tie includes. He last fought in May 2020, stopping Michael Piowowarski with punches and elbows at Babilon MMA 13 in Poland in a Main Event fight. In October 2019, he took a unanimous win against UFC veteran Ednaldo Oliveira at Babilon MMA 10. The Polish fighter has five wins by KO / TKO, two by submission and one by decision in his career, according to Tapology.
« Big Poppa « Potter fights from the top American team Portland, where he trains alongside UFC veteran Ed Herman, Bellators Taylor Johnson and Tyree Fortune. According to his Instagram, Potter took up the fight against Brzeski in late August.
After weighing up, Potter wrote on Instagram: « This is less than 2 weeks of preparation. It’s been 11 years of hard work, ups and downs, self-doubt and a lot of unknowns, but the only thing I know for sure is that I’m ready. I’m hungry, experienced, conditioned, ready to fight. Tomorrow is partying. It’s time to show the world how much I not only want this, but NEED it. Someone is telling @danawhite to finish this contract because I’m here to entertain now. «
According to Tapology, Potter finished all of his pro wins with three wins by knockout / TKO and seven by submission. He gets away with a rear-naked choke win in the second round of his CageSport 61 fight against Nick Mills in July 2021. He also has a decision defeat to UFC veteran Anthony Hamilton on his record.
Potter is coming on short notice which puts him at a disadvantage, but he has faced tough competition throughout his professional career and a surprise cannot be ruled out. Brzeski has demonstrated aggressiveness and finishing skills during his career in Poland, but he has also been sloppy at times, allowing himself to be hit with hard shots and brought to the mat and controlled. He has used his physicality and superior athleticism in many of his fights to overwhelm his opponents, and an accomplished fighter like Potter could take advantage of the lack of technique to create the surprise. Look for Potter to withstand Brzeski’s aggression, tire him out, and take him out for a UFC contract.
Ange Loosa of Switzerland and Australian Jack Della Maddalena face welterweight division. Della Maddalena is the reigning Eternal MMA welterweight champion. Loosa has fought at Titan FC and LFA and trains at Sanford MMA in Florida.
Loosa, 27, has not fought since April 2019. He won his last fight by split decision over Collin Lubberts at Titan FC 54 and recovered from his first career loss, a split decision to Jonathon Thomson at LFA 56 in December 2018. According to Tapology, Loosa has five wins by KO / TKO, one by filing and one by choice during your career.
Della Maddalena started his career 0-2 and has not lost since. He has ended all of his fights with eight KO / TKO wins and one submission win. Della Maddalena trains at Scrappy MMA and Fitness in Western Australia.
He’s never seen a third round in his MMA career. He won his last fight in October 2010 at Eternal MMA 53, defeating Aldin Bates in one fell swoop about a minute into the first round.
Loosa joins combat after two years of development, including at Sanford MMA under the guidance of Henri Hooft, and has shown explosiveness and finishing skills throughout his career. Della Maddelena started the trip from Australia to the US just a week ago, so the time change and short preparation time compared to Loosa on the Florida to Las Vegas hike could also play a role in the battle. Look for Loosa to enter the fight with a high-level game plan and earn a spot in the UFC alongside some of his Sanford MMA brothers.
The Canadian Jasmine Jasudavicius and the Brazilian Julia Polastri meet in the first women’s fight in the Contender Series of the fifth season. They fight flyweight.
The 32-year-old Jasudavicius has three fights behind him in Cage Fury. FC, including a decisive win over Ashley Dean at CFFC 93 in March 2021 and a split decision against current UFC fighter Elise Reed at CFFC 83 in August 2020. It was her first loss as a fighter.
She won her CFFC Debut in February 2020 and stopped Gabriella Gulfin kneeling in the first round. Jasudavicius has a submission win by rear-naked choke in her pro MMA debut, a decisive win in her second fight, and a victory by body shots in her third competition. According to Tapology, she was also 4-0 in her amateur career with two interruptions, one by submission and winning by KO.
Jasudavicius pursued a unique path to MMA. She started training later in life, at age 27, after marking a friend’s long Tinder date in 2015 and meeting Niagara Top Team Wrestling coach Chris Prickett, according to TSN. She told the news site that they started dating and she started training with him and eventually turned pro.
Polastri was impressive on the Brazilian regional scene, entering DWCS with a winning streak of six bouts, including three consecutive interruptions, one from rear-naked choke and two from TKO, according to Tapology. She submitted Jessica Cunha to SFT 22 in October 2020. Polastri has three wins by KO / TKO, one by filing and four by decision in her career. Polastri has a win against Invicta FC’s Jessica Delboni.
But Polastri will make her flyweight debut in the Contender Series. She began her career with two fights in the 105-pound atomic weight class and has since competed in the 115-pound straw weight class. Jasudavicius spent her career in the 125 pound division, with the exception of the fight against Reed, where she dropped back to challenge the CFFC strawweight championship. Polastri is 5’2 « and Jasudavicius 5’7 ».
Jasudavicius has an advantage of scale and was tested against competition at UFC levels, nearly defeating Reed in the 2020 CFFC title fight. Look for a solid decisive win in a back and forth battle to become the first woman to be contracted for this DWCS season.
Last week, all four of Heavy’s top bets were cashed in (Josh Quinlan in the distance, Josh Quinlan / Logan Urban under 1 1/2, Chidi Njoukuani wins and Quinlan / Saimon Oliveira parlay). Here are the best bets for week 3:
Almeida wins (170): Almeida is a solid underdog. He has skills on the feet and on the mat and has an advantage of scale that he can take advantage of. Nasrudinov, in his fight against Hendricks, showed a willingness to sit in his opponent’s guard and control the mat, and was almost reversed in submissions several times. Almeida has the ability to do what Hendricks couldn’t and take down Nasrudinov on the floor when the opportunity presents itself, and Nasrudinov has shown a tendency to bring the fight to the mat.
Miller & Duraev Parlay (-195): Miller’s NCAA-level wrestling and Duraev’s higher level of competition and superior training camp make her top favorites on the map.
Loosa Wins (105): Loosa is another tough underdog who goes for Could cause excitement. His time at Sanford MMA is well worth shooting.
Loosa / Della Maddalena under 2 1/2 rounds (-190): Loosa and Della Maddalena are both finishers and DWCS is the action.
Potter / Brezeski under 2 1/2 rounds (-185): If this was a fight in LFA or even on a UFC Fight Night card, a sloppy decision could be at stake. Both men have shown toughness and the ability to hold out late in fights, and Potter survived many heavy blows on his LFA debut against Dennis. But the Contender Series is a different situation. Both men should be eager to quit the fight and get into the UFC. Just hope they don’t get tired and lean against each other for a few minutes.
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