Dana White's Contender Series: Week 5 preview, weigh-in results

Another week, another edition of Contender Series. You already know what the game is, fighters vie for a spot on the UFC roster and one singular performance can alter their careers forever.

You know, we don’t talk enough about how nice this logo is.

So this week, we’re starting off with some interesting light heavyweights that are part of the newer crop from the Euro scene. Lucasz Sudolski (8-0) has been putting in work in Poland’s Babilon MMA, with impressive speed and power. He’s got his basic technique down, doesn’t rely exclusively on athleticism and headhunting, and is another great possible addition to the division.

Likewise, Ukranian Igor Poterya (19-2) has his share of dynamic performances. Crisp and technical strikes, speed and good movement are a major part of his game. And yet, a familiar caveat. His record obscures his deficiencies. Six of his wins have come against opponents making their pro debut, the last of which was five fights ago when Poterya was 14-2 himself. Six other opponents were under the .500 mark and another was 17-17. Now, he can look like a million bucks in a highlight reel and be sold to us with a bill of goods for being super legit, but there’s a massive problem when you’ve got a record where your opponents have a combined record of 68-73 (!!). That includes guys that are 1-9, 0-3, 0-2, 1-2 when you’re so far along in your development for this type of fight to be acceptable.

Is Poterya good? Yes. But he’s got the can-crusher stink on him, and anyone telling you to put money on him for this fight or against any truly well-developed prospect has their hand in your pocket.

Albania’s Manuel Gaxhja (7-0) is another spitfire lightweight that has been making waves. Fighting and training out of Holland, he’s got a lot of potential. Blistering strikes, a good jab, and a varied kicking game. There was even a planned bout between Gaxhja and Adam Borics in Bellator back in 2018.

But for this fight, he had some unfortunate last minute visa complications which led to him arriving in Vegas later than anticipated. That also led to him missing weight for this contest, but it will go on as planned.

The other unfortunate part of this is his record is also spotty. He’s got a lovely highlight reel, yet his opponents have a combined record of 2-5. Four of them were making their pro debuts, one of them was 1-1, another 1-2, and yet another 0-2. He hasn’t faced anyone with a significant grappling base, nor does he appear to have faced any major pressure. Not a good recipe.

His opponent will be Scotland’s Chris Duncan (7-0), who also went 8-1 as an amateur before going pro in 2018. A Certified Finisher™, he hasn’t gone to a decision once as a pro so far. With three Bellator wins under his belt, he’s shown he’s got deceptive power and a good set of instincts for the finish, never rushing things. This should be a fun lightweight tilt.

Caio Borralho (8-1) is a middleweight with a wide stance that loves to throw kicks and punish opponents with counters and thudding body kicks. Bouncing around the Brazilian circuit, he’s faced a mixed bag of opponents and has gotten by with some great timing, hard striking, and nice setups for his offense.

But his opponent should be his toughest test to date. Canada’s Aaron Jeffery (10-2) has already faced current UFC fighters Andre Petrosky and Sean Brady (a win against Petrosky, a loss to Brady), as well as other tough prospects such as Bruno Assis and Collin Huckbody. A solid striking base, great sprawls, devastating clinchwork and decent cardio, he’s a prospect whose name has been ringing out here for a bit. There’s a lot to like about his game, and he’s only getting better.

Daniel Zellhuber (11-0) is one of the most talented and consistently fun fighters to emerge from the Mexican scene, gaining notoriety while fighting in Combate Americas (now Global) and Lux Fight League. With a great use of range and space, a sharp striking game and a stable yet improving submission game, he’s got a lot going on. He’ll be up against Lucas Almeida (12-0), a Jungle Fight and MAX Fight vet that’s got some dramatic finishes on his record and a grimy ground game with lots of elbows. He’s also got some rangy striking, but spotty cardio. This should be a very good fight overall.

But it’s the big boys that will open the card, as heavyweights Rizvan Kuniev (10-2, 1 draw) meets Edivan Santos (12-2) to start things off. Santos has most of his fights ending with finishes, while the ursine Kuniev is a chunky puncher with massive overhands and top control that looks to be dreadful for the guy on the bottom.

You can check out the weigh-ins here:

Lucasz Sudolski (205) vs. Ihor Potieria (203.5) – Light heavyweight

Chris Duncan (156) vs. Manuel Gaxhja (160.5)* – Lightweight

Caio Borralho (185.5) vs. Aaron Jeffery (185.5) – Middleweight

Lucas Almeida (155.5) vs. Daniel Zellhuber (156) – Lightweight

Rizvan Kuniev (265.5) vs. Edivan Santos (234) – Heavyweight

As usual, Dana White’s Contender Series takes place this Tuesday night starting at 8:00pm. The event will be streaming live exclusively on ESPN+.

Internet Explorer Channel Network
News Related

OTHER NEWS

Colin Cowherd Says There's 1 Lamar Jackson Narrative That's Dumb

© Provided by The Spun Colin Cowherd talks Russell Wilson trade rumors. For the past two years, countless NFL fans have questioned if Lamar Jackson has what it takes to ... Read more »

Broncos running back great Otis Armstrong, 1973 first-round pick, dies at age 70

© Provided by CBS Sports Otis Armstrong looks for room against the Dallas Cowboys in Super Bowl XII.  Former Broncos All-Pro running back Otis Armstrong died on Wednesday, the team ... Read more »

Longtime CFB Broadcaster Has Glowing Review Of Georgia QB Stetson Bennett

© Provided by The Spun Georgia quarterback Stetson Bennett throwing a pass. Coming into the 2021 college football season, JT Daniels was thought of as the No. 1 quarterback on ... Read more »

Cardinals acquire tight end Zach Ertz in trade with Eagles

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Zach Ertz had the unique opportunity to play one more game in Philadelphia, knowing he would be traded to the Arizona Cardinals. © Provided by The Canadian ... Read more »

Kings exercising Tyrese Haliburton's 2022-23 option

The Kings are picking up the third-year team option on Tyrese Haliburton‘s rookie scale contract for the 2022-23 season, a source tell Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN (Twitter link). © Sergio ... Read more »

PSG (without Messi and Neymar) only after a dubious penalty along Angers

Without Lionel Messi and without Neymar, Paris Saint-Germain has had a difficult evening at home. Thanks to a dubious penalty by Kylian Mbappé, Angers was only put aside in the ... Read more »

Your 2021 LCS announcing schedule

© Provided by Awful Announcing American League Championship Series Houston Astros vs Boston Red Sox FOX Sports ALCS on Fox Broadcast Schedule FOX/FS1 studio show airs 30 minutes before/after game ... Read more »

Mbappe helps Messi-less PSG escape against Angers

Paris Saint-Germain has beaten Angers in Ligue 1 without Lionel Messi. In its own Parc des Princes, the leader did that 2-1, thanks to a late hit by Kylian Mbappé. ... Read more »

Olympic decathlon champ Warner gets loose with other sports after post-Games break

Olympic decathlon champion Damian Warner will be casting a wide sporting net as he starts preparations for a busy 2022 season.   © Provided by The Canadian Press The sprint ... Read more »

Bridgeport Islanders Season Preview

The Bridgeport Sound, er, Islanders open up their first “normal” regular season since 2018-19 when they head to Hartford to face their intrastate rivals, the Wolfpack. I thought it would ... Read more »

Avalanche to host Blues on Saturday

St. Louis Blues vs. Colorado Avalanche Denver; Saturday, 9 p.m. EDT FANDUEL SPORTSBOOK LINE: Avalanche -159, Blues +132; over/under is 5.5 BOTTOM LINE: The Colorado Avalanche host the St. Louis ... Read more »

IPL 2021 Final: When you enjoy the game you get better results - Brendon McCullum on KKR's turnaround

Kolkata Knight Riders head coach Brendon McCullum revealed on Friday that he kept things very simple in team meetings and just told his players to enjoy themselves on the field ... Read more »

Jack Dorsey says Square may build open-source mining system as Bitcoin passes $62,000

© Independent Breaking News Square CEO Jack Dorsey says the company is starting a “deep technical investigation” to create an open-source Bitcoin mining system as the cryptocurrency rockets past $62,0000. ... Read more »

John McDonnell calls for year-long rent freeze for all tenants in England

© Getty Mr McDonnell said a rent freeze ‘will also assist the economic recovery from Covid by maintaining demand in our economy’ – Getty Former shadow chancellor John McDonnell has ... Read more »

Watch Bellator 268 ceremonial weigh-in video LIVE NOW

MMA Fighting has Bellator 268 weigh-in video for Saturday’s event at Footprint Center in Phoenix. © Bellator MMA In the main event, Vadim Nemkov and Julius Anglickas need to hit ... Read more »

Triple C: ‘Overgrown Midget' Volkanovski Has ‘Proven' Himself

© Photo by Mike Roach/Zuffa LLC Henry Cejudo reveals why now is the right time to return in hopes of capturing a third Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) title at the ... Read more »

Canucks' Brock Boeser unlikely to play Friday vs. Flyers

While Vancouver fans are relieved to see Elias Pettersson and Quinn Hughes back in action after they signed new contracts to stay with the Canucks, they’ll have to wait a ... Read more »

Impressive Michael van Gerwen to second round European Championship Darts, also Danny Noppert by

Van Gerwen shot out of the starting blocks like a comet. He immediately broke his opponent with an 11-darter and then threw his own leg with 12 darts. De Vlijmenaar ... Read more »

Dodgers' Scherzer planned NLCS Game 1 starter against Braves

ATLANTA (AP) — Max Scherzer is expected to throw the Los Angeles Dodgers’ first pitch in the NL Championship Series only two days after delivering the final pitch in their ... Read more »

Braves were real winners of Giants-Dodgers marathon series

© Provided by Fansided Although the Dodgers ultimately won over the Giants in Game 5, it is the Braves who are the real winners of the NLDS marathon series.  The ... Read more »

No, Giants fans are not overreacting to The Check Swing vs. Dodgers in Game 5

© Harry How/Getty Images Wilmer Flores #41 of the San Francisco Giants strikes out on a checked swing for the final out of the game against the Los Angeles Dodgers ... Read more »

Packers winning despite struggling in red-zone situations

GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) — The Green Bay Packers aren’t striking gold as often as before whenever they get near the goal line. It’s been an entirely different story for ... Read more »

Basilashvili reaches the masters tournament semifinal for the first time after beating Tsitsipas

The 29-year-old Georgian had never progressed beyond the second round at the Indian Wells tournament. In the semifinals he will compete against the winner of the quarterfinals between the German ... Read more »

Jesse Lingard: Solskjaer accepts Man United star is unlikely to sign a new contract if stuck on the bench

© PA Jesse Lingard 151021 Ole Gunnar Solskjaer wants Jesse Lingard to extend his Manchester United stay by signing a new contract. The midfielder’s current deal expires at the end ... Read more »

Leader Excelsior triumphs again, Volendam after convincing victory number two

NAC had a good evening at the bottom. The team from Breda recorded its second win in a row. Young AZ was defeated 1-0. Almere City again failed to win. ... Read more »

Basilashvili beats Tsitsipas to reach semis at Indian Wells

INDIAN WELLS, Calif. (AP) — Nikoloz Basilashvili outlasted No. 2 seed Stefanos Tsitsipas 6-4, 2-6, 6-4 Friday to move into the semifinals of the BNP Paribas Open with the biggest ... Read more »

‘Nightmare' Mom Accused in Drunken Teen Sex Parties Loved ‘Power'

Ada County Sheriff’s Office The California mom accused of encouraging sex abuse at booze-fueled parties she arranged for young teens has long been known as a “liar” who leaves a ... Read more »

Author Woods makes many interesting revelations in latest book on Toronto Argonauts

TORONTO — When Bruce McNall purchased the Toronto Argonauts with hockey star Wayne Gretzky and comedian John Candy in 1991, helping save the CFL wasn’t his primary goal. Bringing an ... Read more »

UFC Vegas 40: Who is Erick Gonzalez?

© Provided by Fansided UFC Vegas 40: Who is Erick Gonzalez? Looking ahead to a UFC Vegas 40 card that many have undervalued, UFC fans might want to keep an ... Read more »

Julius Jones files last-minute bid to avoid execution in Oklahoma

© Courtesy of Justice for Julius Julius Jones, 41, has spent two decades fighting what he says is a wrongful death sentence in Oklahoma. He filed a last-minute appeal on ... Read more »

Winnipeg expat runs Boston Marathon just months after surviving devastating bike collision

© Submitted by Lindsey Klassen Winnipeg expat Lindsey Klassen ran the Boston Marathon just six months after surviving a devastating bike collision. Lindsey Klassen nearly died this April after sustaining ... Read more »

Alouettes look to sweep back-to-back series with struggling Redblacks

OTTAWA — Beating a team in the CFL is rarely easy, and beating it twice is even harder. But that’s exactly what the Montreal Alouettes hope to do when they ... Read more »

Ben Simmons clears protocols, won't play in Sixers' preseason finale

© Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports Things are ‘trending toward’ Ben Simmons suiting up again for the Sixers ? if not on opening night, then sometime after the regular season begins. ... Read more »

Injuries Causing Early Season Headaches for NHL Teams

We’re barely two games into the season for some teams, and already, their depth is being seriously tested. That’s unlikely to change, all season long. © Provided by Hockey News ... Read more »

'It's crunch time': Playoff-hungry Whitecaps face tough test in Sporting KC

Vancouver Whitecaps attacking midfielder Ryan Gauld generally wants the best for his fellow Scotsman Johnny Russell.  © Provided by The Canadian Press This weekend, though, will be the exception as ... Read more »

Bruins sign D McAvoy to 8-year, $76 million extension

BOSTON (AP) — Boston Bruins defenseman Charlie McAvoy has big plans for his newfound money after signing an eight-year, $76 million contract extension. “I might go get my dog a ... Read more »

Lucy Bronze 'shocked but not surprised' at NWSL allegations

England and Manchester City player Lucy Bronze admits she is “shocked, but unfortunately not surprised” at the reports of sexual misconduct and abuse emerging from the NWSL.  © Provided by ... Read more »

Broncos celebrating Mike Shanahan's coaching contributions

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. (AP) — The Denver Broncos are celebrating Mike Shanahan’s coaching contributions this weekend. © Provided by The Canadian Press The two-time Super Bowl winner who holds the franchise ... Read more »

Is Adam Fox Worth $10 million Per Season?

His peer, Charlie McAvoy, just inked a big extension in Boston and the New York Rangers rearguard already has a Norris Trophy. © Provided by Hockey News on Sports Illustrated ... Read more »

Colts vs. Texans: Final injury report for Week 6

© Provided by Colts Wire The Indianapolis Colts (1-4) and Houston Texans (1-4) released their final injury reports for the Week 6 matchup at Lucas Oil Stadium on Friday. The ... Read more »