And there we have it! The last week of the 2020 season of Dana White’s Contender Series just happened, and I am already wanting more. That seems like it will take place next summer if world allows. Until then, let’s take a look at who won on week 10, and who got a contract.
And before I forget, I went 3-2 in my predictions this week, which brings my DWCS 2020 season record to a total of 30-15-3. In terms of a percentage, that made my predictions 66% accurate. I’m not sure if that’s great, horrible, or somewhere in the middle, but I gave it my best.
The night began with a bout between young Chelsea Hackett and the much more experienced Victoria Leonardo. Hackett was able to use her far superior striking at times, but Leonardo succeeded in turning the fight into a real mixed martial arts bout. Leonardo used cage control and takedowns to stifle the assault of Hackett. The bout’s end came in the second round when Leonardo was able to land some brutal ground and pound to get the TKO finish.
Leonardo netted a contract with her performance, and I predict some really crowd pleasing bouts in her future.
A pair of returning athletes took to the cage in the second bout of the night when Sherrard Blackledge and Tucker Lutz faced off. Their bout was a very entertaining affair which saw Lutz was able to use his combination boxing and wrestling to secure a unanimous decision win. While he promised a finish in his return to the DWCS cage, he did not get it, and even though he came short there, his skills impressed Dana White enough to get a UFC deal.
So Lutz enters the shark tank that is the UFC lightweight division. Regardless who he gets matched up with, there’s no easy roads at 155 pounds. Here’s to hoping that he gets to make his mark on the division.
In the third bout, a strawweight showdown between Gloria de Paula versus Pauline Macias delivered one of the most one-sided bouts we’ve seen this season. While Macias was able to make limited use of her world-class Judo, she ultimately served as a punching bag. De Paula put her Chute Boxe lessons to work as she punched, kicked, and kneed her way to a unanimous decision victory. Credit to Macias, because many lesser fighters would have gone down many times over.
Strawweight continues to be a talent-rich division in the UFC. Fresh off the heels of a new UFC contract, De Paula is going to have some really fun fights, and I hope the UFC matches her up with a willing striking partner.
One heavyweight and one middleweight who didn’t cut weight showed down in somewhat of a freakshow bout when Oscar Cota took on the much smaller Nick Maximov. This was a classic striker versus grappler matchup, and, this time, the grappler won out. In the moments that Cota attempted to use his boxing, Maximov was able to counter with takedowns and eventually win out a decision win. I was impressed with the active ground striking of Maximov, and the fact he didn’t get a finish is excusable given the almost 50 pound weight difference.
Dana White did not award a contract to Maximov, but he did extend an invitation to compete on the next season of the Ultimate Fighter. Maximov was unable to accept the invitation as he was taken to the hospital after his bout. I hope he accepts the opportunity, because judging by his post-fight interview, he would be an awesome personality to have on the comeback season of the Ultimate Fighter.
In the featured bout, two more returning athletes faced off. In the flyweight division, JP Buys took on Jacob Silva. Buys showcased his phenominal wrestling and grappling; he locked up about three different chokes that seemed sure to be sure finishes. Silva showcased his toughness and refusal to quit. Unfortunately though, the bout was a little spoiled when referee Marc Goddard stopped the fight due to technical submission near the end of the first round when he thought that Silva had passed out in yet another choke attempt from Buys. Silva immediately protested, stating that he was not out when Goddard stopped the fight.
Buys was awarded a contract for his effort. Controversy aside, Buys is going to be a factor at 125 pounds. His wrestling and ground control were next level. In addition, he kept trying to finish the fight even though Silva kept escaping. Not getting deterred by close-but-not-quite submission holds is impressive.
And that’s all, folks! The final week of Dana White’s Contender Series’ 2020 season is over and we will be waiting for about a year before the UFC Apex hosts UFC hopefuls again.
Until then, you can catch me breaking down other events for Film Fight Freaks, or watch myself and my co-host Brad Jones talk about MMA in the Sparring Partners Podcast.
Thanks for reading!