UFC’s Dana White’s Contender Series season seven kicked off tonight with an action-packed card.
It was a great night for the opening episode, as five fights went down, and every winner was awarded a contract for the UFC. Winning doesn’t always mean a contract is guaranteed, but the five winners made an impression on Dana White enough to get signed.
UFC Dana White’s Contender Series Results
Kevin Borjas def. Victor Dias via Unanimous Decision
Kevin Borjas looked very good on the feet. His boxing was crisp, his hands were fast and he was landing some good shots, even cutting open Dias in the first round. But, it was evident he needs to work on his wrestling defence because that’s where he struggled in the fight. He continued to get up but allowed Dias to keep taking him down until he was too tired to be able to. Borjas picked up the win after all three rounds and he was offered a contract to the UFC. Congratulations, Kevin Borjas.
Payton Talbott def. Reyes Cortez Jr. via Unanimous Decision
Payton Talbott proved very early on that he was the better fighter on the feet, and quickly it became his show. He was so clean with his hands, continued to walk forward, was talking trash and was easily the most exciting fighter of the night, which was proved when he threw a body kick, Reyes caught it and Talbott backflipped in order to break the leg hold! It even had Dana up on his feet clapping. He almost had a finish late when he had Cortez Jr backing up late. Talbott did get the decision win and broke the bantamweight significant strike record on DWCS. He was offered a contract after his win, and the thought of Payton in the UFC has many fans excited. Congratulations, Peyton Talbott.
Caio Machado def. Kevin Szaflarski via Unanimous Decision.
Sadly, this was easily the most boring fight of the night. But, Machado was trying. He was throwing wild shots and kept walking forward despite Szaflarski continuing to lock his arms up and try to grapple. Midway through the fight, it was a lot of heavyweight men dancing, and not doing much. Throwing heavy but not landing clean. But, Machado was trying and that’s what counts. He did break Szaflarski’s 11-win streak as the underdog in the fight, and for his efforts, Dana White is giving him a shot in the UFC and offered him a contract. Congratulations, Caio Machado.
Tom Nolan def. Bogdan Grad via Knockout (Round 1)
In the early seconds of the fight, Nolan looked sharp on the feet, very fast and especially accurate. Nolan dropped Grad right out of the gate, but, Grad shook it off and got up. Buy, it didn’t matter. Tom Nolan landed a perfect left hook to the jaw and followed up with a straight shot while on the ground to put his opponent to sleep. Tom was the only finish of the night and looked really good doing it. He was offered a contract after his extraordinary knockout win. Congratulations, Tom Nolan.
Cesar Almeida def. Lucas Fernando via Unanimous Decision.
Cesar Looked good on the feet while he could, but Fernando continued to try to take him down, which frustrated everyone because we figured we’d get a standup battle between these two former kickboxing pros. Despite not seeing the best of them on the feet, Almeida did have some great ground defence and continued to reverse positions and control his opponent proving that he’s a full mixed martial artist and not just a kickboxer. While in kickboxing, Cesar Almeida does have a win over former UFC champion Alex Pereira. Despite being the age of 35, Dana decided to give Almeida a contract because of his extensive kickboxing career. Congratulations, Cesar Almeida.
Five fights, five winners and five contracts were awarded to these UFC newcomers. We kick off week one of season seven with a successful episode, now we wait and see if we can continue on this hot streak as the weeks continue.
UFC Dana White’s Contender Series goes down every Tuesday at 7 PM EST on ESPN+. Check out the future of the UFC.
By: Brady Alexander