Dana White’s Tuesday Night Contender Series (DWTNCS) has returned, bringing with it the next rising stars of the UFC.
Each week, the match winners (mostly) are awarded with a UFC contract. I am personally so happy to get the Contender Series back in action, making Tuesdays a must see for any UFC fans. This week’s full card is as follows.
- Hashem Arkhagha vs. AJ Dobson (MW)
- Michael Morales vs. Nikolay Veretennikov (WW)
- Steven Nguyen vs. Theo Rlayang (FTW)
- Kleydson Rodrigues vs. Santo Curatolo (FLW)
- Jacob Rosales vs. Victor Martinez (LW)
Contract winners are highlighted in gold.
AJ Dobson def. Hashem Arkhagha by Round 1 Submission (MW)
These fighters both brought the heat as soon the match started, with both being early knockout threats. They started trading wildly with powerful hooks, though Dobson won out, dropping Arkhagha. He rode out top position for some time, getting some powerful ground strikes in. Arkhagha regained his footing, and Dobson once again grounded him with his striking before sinking in a rear naked choke.
Dobson moves to 6-0 and is another exciting finisher added to the Middleweight division. All but one of his fights have ended before the final bell, with each and every one of those stoppages coming in the first round.
Michael Morales def. Nikolay Veretennikov by Decision (WW)
This fight was closer than some of the ones preceding. Veretennikov started hot early, with his technical boxing finding success against the more looping strikes of Morales. The Ecuadorian put the advantage on his side with the wrestling, scoring stints of top control along with powerful ground and pound.
His striking was effective as well, with his punches coming from odd angles. Morales now moves to 12-0 with ten career finishes, including nine by knockout. He has a judo background and heavy hands, holding national championships in both freestyle wrestling and Muay Thai.
Steven Nguyen def. Theo Rlayang by Decision (FTW)
Steven Nguyen dominated this fight from bell to bell, primarily through the use of his boxing. He had a clear edge in technique, along with an eight inch reach advantage that let him pick apart Rlayang. Though he lacked some urgency in his attempts to finish the bout, he looked superior in nearly every element of the fight.
Nguyen has the crisp boxing and grappling to make a top prospect, with the lone loss in his 8-1 record being on the Contender Series to current UFC fighter Aalon Cruz. His six finishes are evenly split between knockout and submission, with high level technique in every part of his game.
Kleydson Rodrigues def. Santo Curatolo by Decision (FLW)
Rodrigues took over early, making the advantage on the feet clear. He denied Curatolo’s signature wrestling attack with stunning ease, slithering out of compromising positions. The versatility of his striking was too much, as his explosive and unorthodox style left little opportunities for the physically smaller Curatolo.
Rodrigues is a fantastic addition to the Flyweight division, as he is an adept striker, with the pacing and finishing threat to bring a challenge to many of the UFC Flyweights. Now 7-1 with five finishes, Rdorgies was able to effectively dominate the fight to a decision, all but denying the high level grappling threat of Curatolo.
Victor Martinez def. Jacob Rosales by Decision (LW)
Victor Martinez improved his record to 13-4 with a decision over Jacob Rosales. Martinez utilized his boxing and combo skills against the mobile Rosales, who has experience in promotions such as Bellator and the LFA, to earn the victory. Rosales turned up the pressure late, but a broken hand helped Martinez extend his advantage for the UD nod.
Martinez has eight wins by stoppage, with every one coming via knockout. Though he is a Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt, he primarily uses his grappling to keep the fight on the feet.
DWCS will return next Tuesday with another five-fight card!