A somewhat slapdash episode of Dana White’s “Contender Series” graces UFC APEX in Las Vegas, Nevada, tonight (Tues., Oct. 12, 2021) to keep its fifth season going on ESPN+.
Last week’s installment added another handful of newcomers to the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) roster thanks to strong efforts from Mike Malott, Carlos Hernandez, Fernie Garcia, and Genaro Valdéz. Only Joseph Holmes, who dispatched Shonte Barnes by second-round rear naked choke, failed to secure a contract.
This week’s card is a strange one. The Bantamweight main event pits Reyes Cortez (5-1) against Christian Rodriguez (5-0), who came in more than a pound heavy, while the co-feature sees Lorenzo Hood (12-4) step up on short notice to fight Martin Buday (8-1) after missing out on a Week 1 bout with Lukasz Brzeski. Down at Flyweight, CFFC champ Jake Hadley (7-0) was originally slated to fight Kleydson Rodrigues in Week 4, but missed weight ahead of tonight’s bout with TUF vet Mitch Raposo (5-0).
Scottish knockout machine Chris Duncan (7-0) squares off against Slava Borshchev (4-1) at Lightweight and Kathryn Paprocki (3-1) replaces Silvana Gomez in the Strawweight opener opposite Maria Silva (6-0).
‘Contender Series’ Quick Results:
Reyes Cortez vs. Christian Rodriguez — Rodriguez def. Cortez by unanimous decision (30-27 x3)
Lorenzo Hood vs. Martin Buday — Buday def. Hood by TKO (knee) at 4:56 of Round One
Jake Hadley vs. Mitch Raposo — Hadley def. Raposo by submission (neck crank) at 3:11 of Round Two
Chris Duncan vs. Slava Borshchev — Borshchev def. Duncan by KO (punch) at 0:28 of Round Two
Kathryn Paprocki vs. Maria Silva — Silva def. Paprocki by unanimous decision (30-27 x3)
‘Contender Series’ Play-By-Play Results:
135 lbs.: Reyes Cortez vs. Christian Rodriguez
Round one: Some rapid-fire exchanges to start the fight. Good right hands from Rodriguez, who just barely mistimes a flying knee as he’s hauled to the fence. One minute in. Continuing to control, moves to the rear waist lock. Rodriguez lands an elbow on the break, lands a sharp cross and jab. Clean 1-2. Good exchange. Cortez shoots with two minutes to go, denied.
Rodriguez looking like the better boxer so far. Left hook into the clinch. He denies another takedown. Back to work with the boxing, nice liver shot. Elbow attempt. Cortez ties up with a minute to go. Nice up-elbow from Rodriguez after they separate. Heavy right hand that Cortez absorbs. Throwing back, just avoids a head kick, can’t score the takedown. Nice combo by Rodriguez. 10-9 Rodriguez.
Round two: More crisp combination work from Rodriguez. Cortez throws back, nearly shoots directly into a knee. One minute in. 1-2 from Rodriguez. Cortez tires up and they jockey for position. Trading knees to the body before they separate. More clean boxing by Rodriguez, who shrugs off an elbow. Two minutes in. Cortez sneaks in another elbow and a good knee to the body. 1-2-1 comes back at him. Cortez ties up and puts him on the fence, can’t keep him there long. Better entry, still can’t get it. Two minutes to go.
Rodriguez trying to open up on the fence. Cortez ties up, eats shoulder strikes. Back to exchanging at range. Body kick and a heavy 1-2 land for Rodriguez. Cortez right there with him with a minute to go. Cortez puts him on the fence again. Sneaky knee by Rodriguez and a couple shoulder strikes. 10-9 Rodriguez.
Round three: Cortez goes hard for the early takedown but can’t get it. Volleys of right hands from Rodriguez. 1-2-1. Solid body lock by Cortez, finally completes a takedown. Rodriguez working his way up immediately. One minute in. They separate. Back to the boxing exchanges, favoring Rodriguez. 1-2, big uppercut. Cortez to the body. Rodriguez fires a four-piece and gets tied up. Cortez can’t keep him locked up. Rodriguez pushing forward, gets dragged to his knees. Cortez nearly gets to guard with two minutes to go, but it’s back to pressing Rodriguez against the fence.
Separation. Jabs landing for Rodriguez. Flying knee misses. Cortez circling on the fence, trying to launch potshots. Hard left hook from Rodriguez with a minute to go. Cortez avoids an uppercut to grab the body lock. They separate. Rodriguez pursuing, blasts him with a right hand. Cortez throwing heat right back, shoots at the bell. 10-9 Rodriguez.
Final result: Rodriguez def. Cortez by unanimous decision
265 lbs.: Lorenzo Hood vs. Martin Buday
Round one: Hard low kick from Hood, staying mobile. He soon takes a finger in the eye. Good body kick and straight left when they resume. Low kick by Buday, who eats a body shot and takes him to the fence a minute in. Knees and punches to the thigh. They separate two minutes in and Hood visibly hurts him with punches on the exit. Buday weathers it and takes him to the fence, where he resumes the thigh punishment. Two minutes to go.
Buday continues to chip away with left hands and knees to the thigh. One minute to go. Buday lands a hard knee to the midsection. Hood unable to separate, gets crumpled by a knee in the final seconds.
Final result: Buday def. Hood by TKO (knee)
125 lbs.: Jake Hadley vs. Mitch Raposo
Round one: Hadley pushing forward early. Good body kick, working behind his jab. Raposo looking to land off the back foot. Hadley landing a bit more so far, connects to the body. Nice reactive shot by Raposo a minute in to land on top in guard a minute in. Hadley transitions from an omoplata to a gogoplata, can’t get either. Raposo avoids an armbar, lands punches. Back to the feet two minutes in. Hadley back on the advance. Nice body shot by Hadley, who’s controlling range well so far. Raposo bounces a combo off the guard. Right hook, Hadley answers with a low kick. Two minutes to go.
Raposo lands a straight left, Hadley sneaks in a body shot. Good low kick from Raposo. Slick 1-2 in the center. Two-piece connects. Hadley leg kick and jab with a minute to go. Raposo’s done well in the latter half of this round. Nice double-leg into guard. 10-9 Raposo.
Round two: Hadley digs a cross to the body. two-piece upstairs. Raposo lands a counter left. Hadley body shot a minute in. Raposo lands a counter hook, can’t complete a well-timed single-leg. Overhand left connects. Hadley fires a nice combination and completes a takedown against the fence. Low mount, now the back two minutes in. Hadley looking for the choke. It doesn’t look like it’s under the chin, but Hadley’s squeeze is absolutely vicious, and he cranks hard enough to force the tap.
Final result: Hadley def. Raposo by submission (neck crank)
155 lbs.: Chris Duncan vs. Slava Borshchev
Round one: Duncan on the front foot, tries to spin. Sneaky back fist from Borshchev. Slick jab, eats a low kick in return. One minute in. Duncan lands a body kick. Simultaneous jabs. Borshchev low kicks, avoids another spinning kick and lands a low kick. Nasty counter three-piece two minutes in. Right cross stings Duncan and Borshchev pours it on with a beautiful combination. Liver shot prompts Duncan to change levels. He completes it and looks for the back. To guard with two minutes to go.
Duncan lands on the way up, then cracks him with a knee. Borshchev goes for a rolling thunder of all things. Duncan shoots again and dumps him to his knees with a minute to go. Back up and both land on the break. Borshchev to the body, sharp counter 1-2. Duncan starting to find the mark but eats a heavy left hook. Counter left hook answers a Duncan flying knee. Heavy calf kick from the Scot, who eats a left hook. 10-9 Borshchev.
Round two: Trading body kicks to start. Duncan tries a wheel kick that’s blocked. Borshchev answers with a chopping right, then punishes a lazy entry with a counter hook that instantly turns Duncan’s lights out.
Final result: Borshchev def. Duncan by KO (punch)
115 lbs.: Kathryn Paprocki vs. Maria Silva
Round one: Paprocki staying mobile, counters some leg kicks. Both sending out combinations. Right cross lands for her a minute in. Silva tries to go to the body, lands more low kicks. She takes Paprocki to the fence, trading knees to the body. Two minutes in. Still controlling against the side of the cage. Ref separates them with just under two minutes to go.
High volume from Silva, punishing the lead leg and landing combinations. She takes Paprocki to the fence once again. One minute to go. Jockeying for position. They trade knees downstairs. 10-9 Silva.
Round two: Early exchanges, Paprocki’s punches against Silva’s kicks. Paprocki grabs a collar tie, lands knees, takes her to the fence. One minute in. Silva manages to score a trip into half guard. Paprocki makes it back up two minutes in, can’t get a trip, stuck in a front headlock. Silva separates, fires some punches and kicks, then shoots back in. Another trip, this time into mount. Now the back. Both hooks in with two minutes to go.
Paprocki trying to regain half guard, stuck in mount again. Back to the back and hunting the RNC. One minute to go. Silva cranking but it’s not under the chin. Paprocki sweeps into guard. Silva cracks her with some punches off her back. 10-9 Silva.
Round three: More low kicks from Silva as Paprocki tries to reach her with punches. Nasty counter right lands for Silva. Head kick attempt into the clinch. Silva lands on the break a minute in. Continuing to outland Paprocki, who’s throwing back but can’t quite connect. Silva grabs a bodylock and puts her on the fence. Another trip into side control two minutes in. Now half guard. Full mount, now the back. Two minutes to go.
Solid ground-and-pound from Silva. Briefly considers an armbar with a minute to go. Back to mount, then the back again. Paprocki looking to slip out, manages to turn into guard. She stands over Silva until the bell. 10-9 Silva.
Final result: Silva def. Paprocki by unanimous decision
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