Hello everyone this is Daniel Bakley and today I bring you Episode 6 of Dana White’s Contender Series. Tonight Dana White handed out 4 contracts to fighters out of all the fights that were booked tonight. With the UFC returning to Fight Island in a couple of weeks this is the second to last show before the series goes on a two-month break before finishing the last 3 shows. Here is a breakdown of each fight on the show.
Tafon Nchuwki vs. Al Matavao
Matavao was the aggressor to start, switching stances and looking to stick and move at all angles. Nchukwi was more patient in his approach but did certainly catch his opponent’s attention with a stiff left hand. Matavao was the more mobile fighter, but Nchukwi’s power edge was clear. Nchukwi was more about landing meaningful shit rather than any type of shots. For the most part, Tafon kept coming at Al and made him bleed and even though Matavao didn’t want to go without a fight Nchuwki came out of nowhere with a knockout kick to the face that finished Al Matavao in the second round and gifted Tafon a UFC contract.
Tafon Nchuwki wins by 2nd Round TKO
Khadzhimurat Bestaev vs. Phil Hawes
This fight didn’t last as long as people thought it was going to. The taller Bestaev did his best to stay long to start, while Hawes pressed forward with power punches and a few pounding low kicks that clearly did damage. With Bestaev switching stances and worried about the low strikes, Hawes delivered a huge right hand over the top that sent his opponent crashing to the floor. A few vicious hammer fists on the canvas sealed the deal and earned Hawes a UFC contract that he’s been looking for and dreaming about.
Phil Hawes wins by 1st Round KO
Mana Martinez vs. Drako Rodriguez
The striking and action was big to start this fight and kept people from sitting early. Drako was able to take Mana down early and had him on the canvas for the rest of the fight. Working from his back, Martinez was impressive, looking first for an armbar and then an omo plata to sweep to the top position. However, Rodriguez even more impressively switched quickly to a triangle choke that looked to be fully locked. Martinez refused to tap, doing his best to work free, but the choke was in tight. Rodriguez continued to squeeze, making minor angle adjustments, and Martinez eventually went to sleep and Drako Rodriguez earns his first UFC contract.
Drako Rodriguez wins by 1st Round Submission
Aliaskhab Khizriev vs. Henrique Shiguemoto
In the last fight of the episode, the theme of the night continued with another quick finish. We saw one guy keep his undefeated record in short timing. Both men were aggressive at the start, and though Khizriev slipped off-balance just seconds into the contest, he immediately sprang back up, worked inside for a takedown, and moved immediately to the back. From there, he quickly worked in a rear-naked choke, flattened out his opponent, and scored the tap in impressive fashion, as well as a UFC deal. What a performance and bad luck for Henrique.
Aliaskhab Khizriev wins by 1st Round Submission
This was a strong performance by the prospects and at the end of the day, Dana White went in a direction that benefited the company. This show is pumping out all sorts of talent which is the number 1 thing for the UFC.
Tune in at the same time next week for another Contender Series article and don’t forget to check out Cage my IQ in two weeks as me and a couple of guests break down UFC 253. As always Fight On!