Dana White’s “Contender Series” wraps up its ultra-productive fourth season tonight (Tues., Nov. 17, 2020) with a final quintet of mixed martial arts (MMA) battles.
Last week saw three more hopefuls joined the ever-growing pile of Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) signees. Judo specialist Luana Pinheiro crushed Stephanie Frausto in the first, iron-fisted Nikolas Motta put a 15-minute beating on the extra-tough Joe Lowry, and late replacement Natan Levy capped off 10 minutes of dominance with a third-round submission.
A heavyweight tussle between Nick Maximov (5-0) and Oscar Cota (11-3) headlines a card full of familiar faces. In the Flyweight co-feature, Season One competitor JP Buys (8-2) looks to join wife Cheyanne in the Octagon against Jacob Silva, who fell to Jeff Molina in a terrific fight this past August. Also on tap are the re-booked Strawweight bout between Pauline Macias (4-0) and Gloria de Paula (4-2), a Lightweight bout between Season Four veterans Sherrard Blackledge (5-0) and Tucker Lutz (10-1), and a Flyweight opener pitting unbeaten Chelsea Hackett (3-0-1) against Invicta vet Victoria Leonardo.
‘Contender Series’ Quick Results:
Nick Maximov vs. Oscar Cota — Maximov def. Cota by unanimous decision (30-26 x2, 29-28)
JP Buys vs. Jacob Silva — Buys def. Silva by technical submission (guillotine choke) at 4:54 of Round One
Pauline Macias vs. Gloria de Paula — de Paula def. Macias by unanimous decision (30-26 x2, 30-27)
Sherrard Blackledge vs. Tucker Lutz — Lutz def. Blackledge by unanimous decision (30-27 x3)
Chelsea Hackett vs. Victoria Leonardo — Leonardo def. Hackett by TKO (punches) at 4:41 of Round One
‘Contender Series’ Play-By-Play Results:
265 lbs.: Nick Maximov vs. Oscar Cota
Round one: Cota fires a leg kick and Maximov immediately takes him down. On top in half guard. Short punches. One minute in. Cota scoots to the fence, trying to stand. Hard left hands. Cota makes it to his feet, sprawls on the next shot. Cota trying to punch from the sprawl. Two minutes to go.
Maximov still stuck underneath Cota, who tries to flip him over. One minute to go. Cota just holding on, really. Not really sure how to score this. 10-9 Maximov for damage?
Round two: Cota sprawls on an early shot and tries to fall back for a guillotine. Maximov pops his head out and takes half guard, landing short punches. One minute in. More shots. Two minutes in. Maximov takes mount, can’t keep it. Two minutes to go.
Continuing to chip away. One minute to go. Same until the bell. 10-8 Maximov for one-sidedness, I guess.
Round three: Both land hard punches to start, then Maximov shoots, powering through the sprawl to take him down into guard. Half guard now. One minute in. Back to the short shots. Two minutes in. Briefly considers an arm triangle. More hitting. Two minutes to go.
This continues until the bell. 10-8 Maximov.
Final result: Maximov def. Cota by unanimous decision
125 lbs.: JP Buys vs. Jacob Silva
Round one: Buys tries a head kick, times a shot into guard. Elbow from Silva off his back. One minute in. Buys staying tight in half guard. Looking for mount, can’t get it. Nice pass into side control. Silva with a couple elbows off his back. Silva looks for a sweep, but Buys slips his hooks in and takes the back. Good shots from back mount. Two minutes to go.
Silva turns and gives up mount, prompting Buys to lock up an arm triangle. He switches to a modified RNC, can’t get it. One minute to go. Hard elbows. Punches as well. Hermansson-style guillotine transition against the fence. It’s deep and the ref seems to think Silva’s out, prompting him to stop it. Silva immediately protests, but the fight’s over.
Final result: Buys def. Silva by technical submission (guillotine choke)
115 lbs.: Pauline Macias vs. Gloria de Paula
Round one: Heavy combination from de Paula, prompting Macias to hurl her to the mat and avoid a guillotine. de Paula with the front headlock a minute in. They separate. Sharp right hook by Macias, who ducks a right hand but can’t tie up. de Paula sprawls on the next shot. Two minutes in. de Paula seemingly looking to set up an anaconda choke. She’s go the grip. Two minutes to go.
Knees to the arms from de Paula. The choke’s deep but de Paula can’t break Macias’ base to get a proper squeeze. She sits down for it Oliveira style. Macias gives a thumbs-up. One minute to go. Harder squeeze from de Paula. Macias manages to stack and survive. 10-9 de Paula.
Round two: Technical issues ate my early writeup, so we’ll start halfway through the round. Hard elbow and knee by de Paula in the clinch. Macias tries to pull guard, eats hammerfists as de Paula follows her down. Nasty right hands by the Brazilian. One minute to go. Short elbows land. Macias tries to bring her legs up, takes more shots. 10-9 de Paula.
Round three: Macias lands an early right hand and body kick. de Paula puts her on the fence. Hard knees by the BBrazilian. One minute in. Big elbow from de Paula. More, including a hard one on the break. Low kick connects two minutes in. Macias lands a body kick, cracked with a right cross in return, failed shot. Macias shoots again, both land on the break. She ducks a 1-2, eats knees to the body against the fence. Twio minutes to go.
More knees by de Paula, hard ones to the face. Macias looks hurt as she separates, tries to pull guard when the shots not there. Failed throw. Brutal knees from the Thai plum, short elbow with a minute to go. More knees. Elbow and left on the break. Big right cross.Macias tries some desperation strikes. 10-8 de Paula.
Final result: de Paula def. Macias by unanimous decision
155 lbs.: Sherrard Blackledge vs. Tucker Lutz
Round one: They meet in the center to start. Lutz pressing forward, gets put on the fence. He reverses with a body lock. Brief takedown, can’t keep him there. Blackledge reverses with an underhook a minute in. He spins Lutz down to a knee. Lutz stands, takes a knee as he reverses. Two minutes in. Knees from Lutz. Jockeying for position. Blackledge looks for a trip. Trading knees, Lutz takes one to the nards. They restart with two minutes to go, at which point Blackledge kicks him in the cup.
Low kicks from Lutz after a pause. He looks for a body shot, avoids a right. Blackledge sending out kicks to the body. Head kick attempt. Lutz tries to flurry with a minute to go. He presses forward with punches and slams him down, avoiding a guillotine in the process. He takes mount and then the back. 10-9 Lutz.
Round two: Blackledge comes out kicking. Hard low kicks by Lutz in return. Heavy body and low kicks from Lutz. Blackledge puts him on the fence a minute in. Knees from Blackledge, who tries some throws but ends up giving up his back. Both hooks in for Lutz. Looking for the RNC two minutes in. Blackledge sweeps, looks for his own takedown. Lutz latches into a guillotine and uses it to roll into top position. Blackledge survives, caught in it again as he turns to his knees. Two minutes to go.
Blackledge tries a combo on the break, then gets in deep for a double-leg against the fence. He tries a guillotine on the way up. One minute to go. Jockeying for position once again. Lutz changes levels in the waning seconds, lands a heard knee and they exchange. 10-9 Lutz.
Round three: Good combo by Lutz and a knee catches Blackledge leaning, prompting a shot. Lutz defends against the fence., then looks for his own shot. One minute in. He completes it, holds onto a front headlock as Blackledge stands. Lutz reverses, changes levels, dumps him down into side control while avoiding a guillotine. Two minutes to go.
Lutz not doing much from the top. One minute to go. Round ends there. 10-9 Lutz.
Final result: Lutz def. Blackledge by unanimous decision
125 lbs.: Chelsea Hackett vs. Victoria Leonardo
Round one: Hackett sends out some front kicks, lands a leg kick, then a front kick to the face as Leonardo takes her to the fence. Hackett reverses and they separate. Exchange in the center. Hard Hackett low kick. One minute in. Hackett tries a head kick. Sharp boxing combination. Leonardo shoots, takes her to the fence, hits the outside trip. On top in half guard. Two minutes in. Staying heavy, landing short left hands. Hackett unable to regain guard. Two minutes to go.
Hackett uses the fence to stand, eats a knee. She manages to separate after two tries. Leonardo lands a right hand, eats a leg kick with a minute to go. Another leg kick, avoids a head kick. Front kick up top. Leonardo with a head kick and Hackett puts her on the fence. 10-9 Hackett?
Round two: Hackett 1-2 falls just short. Low kick lands as Leonardo tries a combination. Both land good rights. Hackett steps into the clinch, Leonardo reverses. One minute in. Hackett separates with a hard elbow. Check hook, elbow as she takes a body kick. Right cross catches Leonardo throwing and Hackett tries to follow up, but Leonardo shoots. Body lock on the fence. Two minutes in. Rear waist lock now. Inside trip gets her to her knees, but she pops back up. She gets her down into half guard with two minutes to go.
Full mount for Leonardo. Posturing up for some hard punches. Brutal hammerfists. One minute to go. These are heavy shots. Hackett gives up her back under the onslaught and in comes the ref.
Final result: Leonardo def. Hackett by TKO (punches)
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