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 Post subject: [Event] Contender Series 2023 - Week 6 - Llontop vs. Lewis - Sep 12
PostPosted: Mon Sep 04, 2023 11:24 pm 
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ImageContender Series 2023 - Week 5 - Lopes vs. Ribeiro --- Contender Series 2023 - Week 7 - Gaziev vs. Velasco Image

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Dana White's Contender Series 2023: Season 7 Week 6 - Llontop vs. Lewis is a mixed martial arts event to take place September 12, 2023 at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas, Nevada, United States.


Fight Card

Main Card (ESPN+)


Lightweight James Llontop vs. Malik Lewis
Heavyweight Jhonata Diniz vs. Eduardo Neves
Featherweight Steven Nguyen vs. A.J. Cunningham
Women's Strawweight Julia Polastri vs. Patricia Alujas
Bantamweight Jean Matsumoto vs. Kasey Tanner



Background

Season 7 of Dana White's Contender Series will run every Tuesday from August 8 to October 10, 2023.

Two quality punchers will meet in the octagon to showcase their strongest sides and catch the attention of UFC bosses.

James Llontop, the 24-year-old fighter from Peru has been fighting as a pro since 2017. "Goku" alternated wins and losses in his first bouts, and his rise in MMA began in 2020 after moving to the Fusion FC promotion. There, James revealed himself as a top-notch striker, skillfully knocking out one opponent after another. In total, Llontop racked up a 13-2 statistic in the pro ranks, earning 7 wins (54%) by knockout. By the way, in his last fight at FFC 60, the Peruvian defeated Nilson Oliveira to take the Fusion FC championship belt.

Malik Lewis, 27-year-old American's excellent stand-up worker. In 3.5 years in pro MMA, the fighter has compiled a 6-1 record with all of his victories coming early (5 KOs and 1 submissions). Interestingly, Malik lost only at Contender Series 2022.

The light heavyweights will put on a beautiful stand-up fight at Contender Series 2023 in Las Vegas. Both contenders have good timing and footwork, and they are not short on knockout power either.

Dana White’s Contender Series has launched the careers of many athletes including “Suga” Sean O’Malley, Ryan Spann, Maycee “The Future” Barber, Johnny Walker and Marina Rodriguez. Within the past two years, Alex Perez has challenged for UFC men’s flyweight title, Taila Santos took a shot at the women’s flyweight belt. In addition, there are new top up-and-coming stars in the UFC, such as three-time NCAA Division I wrestling national champion, Bo Nickal who is undefeated and has finished every opponent in the first round. In all, 200 fighters have earned UFC contracts on the show, and over a dozen are now in the promotion’s rankings.



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Sep 12 - Updated fight card order & background


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 Post subject: Re: [Event] Contender Series 2023 - Week 6 - Llontop vs. Lewis - Sep 12
PostPosted: Tue Sep 12, 2023 11:00 am 
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Dana White's Contender Series

Week 6 Preview | Dana White's Contender Series Season 7

Take A Closer Look At The Latest Batch Of UFC Hopefuls.

By E. Spencer Kyte, on Twitter @spencerkyte


Halfway through Season 7 on Dana White’s Contender Series, there have been 21 contracts handed out and a handful of competitors that have taken full advantage of their opportunity to show out in front of the UFC President and the captive audience at home.

Tom Nolan and Payton Talbott looked excellent in Week 1 victories, while Abdul-Kerim Al-Selwady turned in a dominant effort against Cage Warriors champ George Hardwick in Week 2. The third week of the season saw Luis Pajuelo use knees to the body of his grounded opponent to catapult himself to the UFC roster, while Carlos Prates closed out Week 4 in style.

Last week, all five victors earned contracts, with Dione Barbosa and Brendson Ribeiro bookending the event with first-round finishes, and Battlefield Fight League bantamweight champ Serhiy Sidey earning his chance to compete on the biggest stage in the sport. as well.

This week, another five pairs of hopefuls venture to Las Vegas with designs on joining the Class of ’23 and landing a spot on the UFC roster, with four of the matchups featuring competitors making a return appearance to the Contender Series.

Here’s a closer look at this week’s matchups.


James Llontop vs Malik Lewis

James Llontop and Malik Lewis meet in just the third welterweight fight of the season, with each man hoping to follow Prates and Oban Elliott to the biggest stage in the sport with a victory.

The 24-year-old Llontop should be buoyed by the efforts of fellow Peruvian competitors Kevin Borjas and Luis Pajuelo earlier this season, as both looked sharp in earning wins and contracts. “Goku” has earned 11 consecutive victories heading into this one, with six of those coming by way of stoppage, and has a considerable edge in overall experience over Lewis.

Lewis parlayed five straight stoppage victories on the regional circuit into a chance to compete last season on the Contender Series, where he ran into wild man Trevor Peek, losing in the second round. He’s since rebounded with a third-round stoppage win in February to push his record to 6-1 and will look to bank on his familiarity competing in the APEX to give him an advantage here.


Jhonata Diniz vs Eduardo Neves

Last week wrapped with an all-Brazilian battle at light heavyweight, and this week wraps in the heavyweight division, as Jhonata Diniz takes on the returning Eduardo Neves.

Diniz is the latest in a continuous line of fighters transitioning to MMA from kickboxing, looking to follow the trail to the UFC blazed by former middleweight champ Israel Adesanya. Unbeaten in five starts, the 32-year-old Brazilian has not yet seen the second round, and he aims to keep that record intact when he steps in with Neves on Tuesday night.

Neves was a considerable favorite when he appeared last season on the Contender Series, losing to British prospect Mick Parkin, who has since gone on to win his promotional debut in impressive fashion. The 23-year-old has earned consecutive victories since that loss, including reclaiming the LFA heavyweight title, and looks to make the most of his second opportunity this week in Las Vegas.

Heavyweight is always in need of new names and each of these men has flashed upside, so it’ll be interesting to see how this one plays out and if either does enough to merit a call to compete inside the Octagon on Tuesday night.


Steven Nguyen vs AJ Cunningham

Featherweights Steven Nguyen and AJ Cunningham occupy the middle position on this week’s fight card.

Nguyen is a member of the Fortis MMA crew that has graduated a number of competitors to the UFC through the Contender Series in the past. He’s made two previous appearances on the annual talent search series, losing to Aalon Cruz on Season 3 and rebounding with a unanimous decision win over Theo Rlayang on Season 5, but hasn’t competed since then.

Cunningham is a 29-year-old from Arkansas that touches down in Las Vegas with a 10-2 record, a three-fight winning streak, and victories in six of his last seven. The Level of competition hasn’t always been the best, so it’ll be interesting to see how “The Savage” does when he steps in with someone that has already earned a victory inside the UFC APEX and comes from one of the best gyms in the sport.


Julia Polastri vs Patricia Alujas

Brazil’s Julia Polastri makes her return to the Contender Series, facing off with Patricia Alujas of Paraguay in a strawweight contest.

The 25-year-old Polastri appeared on Season 5, dropping a unanimous decision to Jasmine Jasudivicius in a bout contested at 125 pounds. She’s since returned to the 115-pound ranks, posting three straight victories, claiming the vacant LFA strawweight title with a first-round submission win last time out.

Alujas is 9-2 overall and riding a five-fight winning streak into her clash with Polastri. She’s been out to train at Evolucao Thai ahead of this fight but hasn’t fought since the end of 2021 and has faced very limited competition to date, so is facing an uphill battle in Las Vegas.

Can Polastri kick off a positive night for returning talents or will Alujas win one for the new arrivals?


Jean Matsumoto vs Kasey Tanner

Undefeated bantamweights face off in the opener as Jean Matsumoto and Kasey Tanner share the card to start the night’s festivities.

The 23-year-old Matsumoto is a perfect 13-0 thus far and has gone the distance in five of his last seven outings as he’s continued facing stiffer competition on the regional circuit. Last time out, however, he registered a mounted guillotine finish of fellow unbeaten Brazilian Marlon Basilio to give him eight finishes for his career.

The 31-year-old Tanner represents Fight Ready MMA and brings a 6-0 mark to Tuesday’s opener, having last competed in February 2022 when he registered a first-round stoppage win at LFA 124. He was one of Henry Cejudo’s key training partners ahead of his return to the Octagon against Aljamain Sterling, and now he gets the chance to join the rest of the Fight Ready crew on the UFC roster.

Someone is heading home disappointed and no longer brandishing an unblemished professional record, and figuring out who that is should be an entertaining way to start Tuesday night’s action.






https://www.ufc.com/news/week-6-preview-dana-whites-contender-series-season-7

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