Dana White’s Contender Series 2021 Week 2 preview and prediction
Dana White’s Contender Series 2021 Week 2 preview for each fight on Tuesday’s DWCS card.
The second week of Dana White’s Contender Series goes down on Tuesday from the UFC Apex in Las Vegas. Last week, five contracts were given out, including a historical first Contender Series contract awarded to a losing fighter.
With COVID-19 becoming a factor once again, there has been a number of lineup changes to Tuesday’s week two Contender Series card. Let’s take a look at each of the five fights.
Logan Urban vs. Josh Quinlan preview and prediction
The main event of this week’s DWCS card was to see Josh Quinlan take on fellow LFA stand-out Darian Weeks. However, unfortunately, due to a positive COVID-19 test from a member of Week’s camp, his Contender Series debut has been postponed.
Quinlan will now take on the 27-year-old Cleveland brawler Logan Urban instead. Urban is 5-1 since turning professional back in 2018, with all five wins coming by way of stoppage. Urban comes in on less than three days’ notice for this fight and should be widely outclassed in this match-up against Quinlan.
Although Quinlan has just as many wins in his career as Urban, he has fought at a much higher level of competition in his three-fight run with the LFA, as opposed to Urban and the Ohio regional scene.
If Urban wins this fight, he will have to do it early and off the hop. Otherwise, Quinlan will turn the tide of the fight in his favor quickly, and will likely find the win inside the distance.
Prediction: Josh Quinlan by stoppage. Contract acquired.
Mario Sousa vs. Chidi Njokuani preview and prediction
Former Bellator mainstay Chidi Njokuani will attempt to crack the UFC roster on Tuesday night as he takes on the 24-year-old Brazillian prospect, Mario Sousa.
Njokuani is 19-7 as a pro, with his most recent win at LFA 81 against Cristhian Torres last year. Before that, Njokuani faced a who’s who line up of high-level Bellator middleweights, taking on the likes of Rafael Carvalho and recent Bellator title challenger John Salter.
Njokuani is 32 years old and could be facing the harsh reality of being an aging fighter in what is increasingly becoming a younger fighter’s game. His opponent is a young up-and-comer in Mario Sousa. Sousa has already made a Contender Series appearance, picking up the decision win as an underdog against Mariusz Ksiazkiewicz last season, but failed to earn himself a contract.
Sousa is likely the fighter the UFC has their eye on in this match-up and should be able to make good on the chance he is being given against the veteran Njokuani.
Prediction: Sousa by submission. Contract acquired.
Saimon Oliveira vs. José Alday preview and prediction
Saimon Oliveira takes on Jose Alday in one of the two men’s bantamweight match-ups on the Contender Series Week Two card. Oliveira was originally to face Javid Basharat; however, Basharat withdrew from the fight due to visa issues.
Jose Alday comes in on less than a week’s notice, with his most recent appearance coming at Combate Global in May of this year, where he picked up a sensation first-round knock out over Marcos Lopez.
The short notice aspect of this fight may be a tough hurdle for Alday to overcome, taking on a high-level grappler in Oliveira on just a few days notice.
If Alday cannot find the button early on in this fight, look for Oliveira to find the submission win in the later stages.
Prediction: Oliveira by submission. Contract acquired.
Bruno Korea vs. Carlos Vergara preview and prediction
In a men’s featherweight bout, the Brazillian Bruno Korea takes on American Carlos Vergara. Korea is 12-3-1, with the majority of his fight experience coming on the Brazillian and South American regional scene. Vergara is 8-2-1 as a pro, with his most impressive victory coming in his most recent performance, which saw Vergara pick up the third-round stoppage win over Jacob Silva at Fury FC 44.
This fight is likely to be the most competitive of the four fights on the card on Tuesday. While Korea may be the more experienced of the two, Vergara is a very well-rounded fighter who might have more paths to victory with his wrestling, than Korea’s more traditional jiujitsu and striking background.
It is a match-up between two fighters with contrasting skill sets, and more times than not these fights have had a tendency to go the distance. If this is a competitive fight down the stretch, there is a chance for another controversial decision to sway Dana White into possibly giving both fighters contracts.
With the intention of building up the roster, it is something that the UFC president has said could become more frequent, should a fighter with a solid showing lose by close decision.
Prediction: Vergara by decision. Both fighters get contracts.
Muin Gafurov vs. Chad Anheliger preview and prediction
The second of two men’s bantamweight bouts on the card sees former ONE Championship mainstay Muin Gafurov, as he takes on the current Rise FC bantamweight champion, Chad Anheliger.
Gafurov is 17-3 as a pro, with his most recent performance seeing him defeat Walter Zamora at UAE Warriors 15 back in January. Prior to that, Gafurov competed in the ONE Championship featherweight division and had a decent showing against John Lineker in a fight that saw him go the distance with the highly skilled veteran, losing the fight by decision.
As for Anheliger, the current Canadian bantamweight champion is 10-5 as a pro but is riding an 8-fight winning streak which included his most recent win over TUF 29 finalist Brady Hiestand back in 2019. Since then, Anheliger has been on the sidelines, unable to find a fight since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. He comes into this bout on Tuesday with over a year and a half layoff and is facing a highly skilled opponent in Gafurov, who has already shown to be UFC caliber.
Online sportsbooks such as WynnBet have Gafurov as the heavy betting favorite in this match-up, and he should win this fight with a relatively low level of difficulty. While Anheliger has shown to be a very solid fighter in his own right. It’s a battle of two different levels of professional MMA in this match-up.
The only obstacle between Gafurov and a UFC contract on Tuesday night will be the measure of his performance against the high expectations.
Prediction: Gafurov by decision. Contract acquired.
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Published at Sun, 05 Sep 2021 23:09:06 +0000