UFC Dana White’s Contender Series week four is here. Last week, only three contracts were awarded out of four winners. Now with the streak of everyone getting contracts is over, fighters know they’re really going to have to step up to impress Dana White.
It was another great night of fights that saw some dominating wins and some surprising contract results by Dana White, which saw two winner not awarded a contracts this week.
Dana White’s Contender Series Results
Bolaji Oki defeats Dylan Salvador via TKO (Round one)
Bolaji Oki came out strong immediately and was putting the pressure on Salvador. Suffocating pressure, to the point where Dylan couldn’t really get started. Two minutes into the fight, Oki started to push Salvador against the cage and tee’d off on him with a barrage of strikes, but it was a perfectly placed body shot that put Salvador down. Bolaji Oki followed up with some ground and pound and got the TKO finish in dominating fashion. Bolaji Oki was awarded the contract, congratulations!
Thomas Petersen defeats Chandler Cole via Submission (round one)
Two big heavyweights going at it, and unlike the other heavyweights in weeks prior, these two went for it. Throwing strikes immediately. Petersen then got a big takedown before working some ground and pound, especially sliding some elbows in against the cage. Cole did get up momentarily, but Petersen was able to get him back down, this time flat on his back. Petersen started to look for submissions in between landing some big elbows. The time ran out and it took us to round two. The beginning of the round was much of the same, this time, Petersen got the takedown, locked in a key lock submission and got the tap. Thomas Petersen was awarded a contract, congratulations!
Timothy Cuamba defeats Mateo Alejandro Vogel via Unanimous Decision
Cuamba came out fast, showing his hand speed and footwork. Instead of throwing singular shots, everything he threw was a combination. Mateo quickly realized he had to wrestle, but he couldn’t get the takedown. Vogel went for a head kick, but it was caught, and Cuamba followed up with a kick of his own that landed flush. Vogel was visibly panicked for seconds as he tried to get his head cleared. Vogel started to find success with the leg kicks, and had Cuamba on the back foot. Vogel started to take charge of the round as the bell sounded. In the second round, it played out nearly exactly how the first round did. Cuamba started out fast, but the leg kicks started to get to him. He was starting to slow down as the leg kicks began to affect him. But, he survived the round. Vogel started off the third round really pushing for the leg kicks, working the inside and outside of the left leg. He then finally got a takedown and was on the back of Cuamba, and stayed there until the round ended. The judges scored it 29-28 all in favor of Timothy Cuamba. Timothy Cuamba was not awarded a contract. Dana said that he still believes he will be in the UFC one day.
Marco Tulio defeats Yousri Belgaroui via Unanimous Decision
A classic striker vs. grappler bout here, with Tulio being the grappler who was very quickly on the attack. Belgaroui did have some big shots from long range, being the taller and longer fighter. But, the wrestling was clearly tiring him out. When the round came to an end, Belgaroui’s mouth was opened and the exhaustion was seemingly creeping in. In round two, Belgaroui was starting off solid with the striking, but suddenly, Tulio started to strike back and even knocked out Yousri’s mouthpiece. He started to make it an ugly scrap to throw off the kick-boxing style of Belgaroui. Tulio was landing some great body shots that had his opponent initiating a clinch. Fatigue began to set in for both men as we head into the third and final round. As the last round began, Tulio started fast and was landing some big strikes, loading up on every shot. Tulio then got a takedown and started landing some short elbows. He finished the round with some ground and pound. We head to the judges who scored it 30-27, 29-28 and 29-28, all for Marco Tulio. Marco Tulio did not receive a contract. Dana mentions he just didn’t see it tonight.
Carlos Prates defeats Mitch Ramirez via TKO (round two)
A little bit of a feeling out process in the first two minutes of the fight, but the Ramirez gets a big takedown, but Prates was able to reverse and get up. Prates started to pull ahead in the striking department and had Ramirez on the back foot early. Prates really started to lay it on Ramirez as the first round came to an end. Prates started to really put pressure on Ramirez at the start of round two, and a beautiful right hand dropped Ramirez, no follow up needed. Prates gets the win. Carlos Prates was awarded a contract, congratulations!
Three new fighters are headed to the UFC. Bolaji Oki, Thomas Petersen and Carlos Prates will be on the big stage soon enough. We’ll be back for another week of Dana White’s Contender Series next Tuesday on ESPN+.
By: Brady Alexander