All good things must come to an end, and that includes the historically productive fifth season of Dana White’s Contender Series, which concludes this evening (Tues., Nov. 2, 2021) on ESPN+ with Episode 10.
Six fights produced five contracts last week. Gadzhi Omargadzhiev, Javid Basharat, Karine Silva, and Manuel Torres all ended things inside the distance, and though Christian Quinonez failed to put Xiao Long away, he nonetheless impressed Dana White enough to earn a spot in the Octagon.
This season’s final main event pits Battlefield Fight League Lightweight Champion Achilles Estremadura (7-0) against China’s Maheshate (5-1), while the co-feature sees CFFC Welterweight titlist Yohan Lainesse (7-0) face fellow unbeaten Justin Burlison (6-0). There’s also Qiu Lun (14-7) vs. Erisson Ferreira da Silva (10-1) at Flyweight, the long-awaited return of Nova Uniao’s Jonas Bilharinho (8-1-1) opposite series vet Canaan Kawaihae (6-1), and a Flyweight opener between well-traveled veterans Shang Zhifa (32-7) and Juan Puerta (22-6)
‘Contender Series’ Quick Results:
Achilles Estremadura vs. Maheshate — Maheshate def. Estremadura by unanimous decision (29-28 x3)
Yohan Lainesse vs. Justin Burlinson — Lainesse def. Burlinson by KO (punch) at 1:37 of Round One
Qiu Lun vs. Erisson Ferreira da Silva — Ferreira da Silva def. Qiu by unanimous decision (29-28 x3)
Jonas Bilharinho vs. Canaan Kawaihae — Bilharinho def. Kawaihae by TKO (wheel kick) at 4:00 of Round Three
Shang Zhifa vs. Juan Puerta — Puerta def. Shang by split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
‘Contender Series’ Play-By-Play Results:
155 lbs.: Achilles Estremadura vs. Maheshate
Round one: Estremadura comes out slugging, gets caught by some counters along the way. Body kick from Maheshate. Estremadura jab. Huge two-piece drops Maheshate against the fence. Estremadura tries to pour it on, gets tied up and puts Maheshate on the fence. One minute in. Maheshate tries a right on the exit. Circling. Estremadura patiently pursuing. He tanks a counter right, then hurts Maheshate with a left hand as he flurries on the fence two minutes in. Back to the clinch. Snap kick and knee by Maheshate after they separate. Two minutes to go.
Maheshate seemingly threatening with knees, lands a right cross and some kicks. Check hook. Front kick attempt. One minute to go. Estremadura hanging back, now blitzes in and lands a solid left hook. Counter right connects. Long right cross knocks Maheshate back. Left hook to the body. 10-9 Estremadura.
Round two: Estremadura back to the lackadaisical pursuit. Big flurry on the fence. Maheshate fires a combination of his own a minute in. Circling once again. Right hand downstairs, head kick attempt. Both try left hooks. Two-piece by Estremadura. Two minutes in. Brief clinch on the fence. Low kick and right cross by Maheshate. Two minutes to go.
Maheshate looking for kicks, Estremadura seemingly content to wait for his opportunity to explode. Counter left by Estremadura, elbow comes back his way. Mehashate suddenly blasts him with a flying knee and tries to pour it on against the fence. Estremadura manages to tie up with a minute to go. Jockeying for position. They separate with 10 seconds to go. Maheshate unable to put him away. 10-9 Maheshate.
Round three: Maheshate tossing out kicks, eats a pair of left hooks. Estremadura’s blitzes are few and far between at this point. Good body kick by Maheshate. One minute in. Straight right by Estremadura. Maheshate answers in kind, follows a wheel kick attempt with another flying knee. Nice spinning back kick to the body. Two minutes in. 1-1-2 lands, then a calf kick. Wheel kick attempt. Another knee and wheel kick attempt. Estremadura with a tired-looking overhand. Two minutes to go.
Jabs from Estremadura. There’s a nice counter two-piece, best shots in a while. Maheshate tries a front kick. They exchange in the center. Elbow attempt blocked. One minute to go. Body kick. Counter hook from Estremadura. Maheshate leg kick, eats a jab. Both fire big right hands. Maheshate body kick. Low kick. 10-9 Maheshate.
Final result: Maheshate def. Estremadura by unanimous decision
170 lbs.: Yohan Lainesse vs. Justin Burlinson
Round one: Lainesse aggressive early. Long-range double-leg and he passes to side control as Burlinson chases a guillotine. Kimura trap attempt, regains guard. Armbar denied, caught in side control again. Nice scrambles. One minute in. Burlinson works his way up with the fence and lands a knee on the break. They start exchanging and a gigantic left hook lands right on Burlinson’s chin, sending him timber-ing to the mat to eat one more punch before the ref steps in.
Final result: Lainesse def. Burlinson by KO (punch)
125 lbs.: Qiu Lun vs. Erisson Ferreira da Silva
Round one: Nice exchanges to start. Ferreira slips, then gets dropped soon after by a straight left. Qiu standing over him, elects to let him up a minute in. Straight left into the clinch. Ferreira slips on the exit. Hard low kicks by Qiu. Good counter 2-3 by Ferreira and he rushes in with punches. Two minutes to go. Heavy blows by both men at close range. 1-2 stings Ferreira again. Another 1-2, Ferreira with a left hook in return. Brutal shots by Qiu, who follows up with a double-leg attempt. Ferreira threatening a front headlock. Qiu tries to throw on the break. Two minutes to go.
Side kick from Qiu, tries a wheel kick. Ferreira looks for a flying knee and gets taken down for it. Right hands, knees on the way up by Qiu. Ferreira comes on strong, hurts him with a right hand, defends two consecutive level changes with a minute to go. Half guard for the Brazilian. Ferreira standing over Qiu and kicking his legs. Diving elbow whiffs and he sprawls, then looks for the back. 10-9 Qiu.
Round two: Both men a little more tentative to start the round. Looking for leg kicks. Counter left by Qiu. One minute in. Ferreira low kicks and side kick. Straight left for Qiu. He catches a kick and takes Ferreira down. Ferreira scrambles up as soon as Qiu tries to settle on top. Two minutes in. Ferreira just misses with an elbow. Head kick attempt. Qiu with a right hook and body kick. Good exchange in the center. Straight left connects. Two minutes to go.
Qiu lands a side kick to the midsection. Body kick, avoids a combo in return. Big right hook by Qiu sends Ferreira stumbling back. Good body kick and side kick. One minute to go. Sharp straight lefts by Qiu, another side kick. Ferreira goes low-high with a two-piece and stuffs a takedown. Good uppercut inside, Qiu answers with a cross on the exit. Another shot, denied, lands a knee. 10-9 Qiu.
Round three: Ferreira launching punches, puts him on the fence and takes him down with a double-leg. One minute in. Ferreira appears to consider an arm triangle. Nice elbow. Qiu gets an underhook and turns to his knees, then sits through for a takedown of his own into side control. Looking for a Japanese necktie, now a d’arce. Two minutes in. Ferreira breaks his grip and eats a left on the way up. 1-2-2 by Qiu, jabs on the counter. Ferreira getting picked off when he tries to step in. grabs a guillotine as Qiu shoots in. Ninja choke transition, now the back with a hook in. Two minutes to go.
Qiu gets the baseball grip, stands, and separates. Trading in the center. Qiu with a 1-2 downstairs. Left hand. Ferreira tries a three-piece and body kick. One minute to go. Exchanging punches, Qiu landing better. He shoots in and Ferreira jumps guard on a guillotine. He gives a thumbs-up and waits it out. 10-9 Qiu.
Final result: Ferreira da Silva def. Qiu by unanimous decision
145 lbs.: Jonas Bilharinho vs. Canaan Kawaihae
Round one: Kawaihae slips throwing a kick. Back to pushing forward. Jab exchange. Right hook from Bilharinho. Kawaihae looking aggressive, lands a low kick. One minute in. Counter left into a takedown attempt. Pressing Bilharinho against the fence. Two minutes in. Knees to the body. Two minutes to go.
More control. Bilharinho exits with an elbow with a minute to go. Kawaihae calf kicks. Bilharinho tries a head kick. Check hook, eats a calf kick, lands a straight left. 10-9 Kawaihae
Round two: Bilharinho denies an early takedown. Neither man committing at range. One minute in. Kawaihae with a body kick on the counter. Calf kick to a double-leg attempt. Two minutes in. Kawaihae lands a combination. Bilharinho steps in with a left hand, then has to fight off another level change. Kawaihae massively outworking him so far. Both men somehow knee each other in the balls at the same time. Incredible. Kawaihae comes out strong and takes Bilharinho down against the fence with two minutes to go.
They separate. Low kick from Kawaihae. Bilharinho lands a hard body kick with a minute to go. Solid jabs. Another good body kick, right hook. They trade left hands. Hard straight left from the Brazilian. Good late work but 10-9 Kawaihae.
Round three: Heavy exchange to start the round. Elbow from Bilharinho on the exit. Snap kick downstairs. Kawaihae sends out jabs, eats a straight left and right hook. Bilharinho low kick, sharp jab. One minute in. They trade straight lefts. Another check hook by Bilharinho. He tries a jumping knee, eats a body shot. Good left hand. Kawaihae still stalking after him, changes levels. Two minutes to go. Bilharinho separates. Clean jab. Both fire straight lefts. Body kick. Two minutes to go.
Kawaihae has him backed to the fence, retreats and eats a jab. Bilharinho check hook. Kawaihae nearly catches him leaning with a head kick, drawing applause from Bilharinho. Kawaihae continues to pursue, only to walk into a monstrous wheel kick that lands clean. Kawaihae wobbles to the ground and Bilharinho patiently waits for Herb Dean to call it off.
Final result: Bilharinho def. Kawaihae by TKO (wheel kick)
125 lbs.: Shang Zhifa vs. Juan Puerta
Round one: Puerta circling at range. Head kick attempt. Puerta presses forward with a flurry, Shang tries to answer in kind. One minute in. Left hand by Shang after seemingly clashing heads. Puerta catches a kick for a takedown into guard. Short ground-and-pound. Two minutes to go.
Shang has a butterfly hook but isn’t really doing anything besides grabbing Puerta’s gloves. One minute to go. Shang catches a knee and takes him down into half guard. 10-9 Puerta.
Round two: Puerta threatens a spinning kick as Shang starts pushing forward. Right hand into the clinch for an outside trip, putting Shang on top in half guard. Looking for the back, one hook in. One minute in. Shang looking to get the other in and pin Puerta’s arm in the process. Puerta slips out and sets up in guard. Shang tries to slip out, can’t do so two minutes in. Short punches. Two minutes to go.
Puerta puts in one hook, then the other. One minute to go. Hunting the RNC. Shang just holding into Puerta’s hands and keeping him from punching. Shang tries a shoulder strike. 10-9 Puerta.
Round three: Shang steadily advancing, tries a lead right. Another one connects. Trading heat on the fence. Shang straight right a minute in. They trade hooks. Puerta comes back with a 1-2. Another straight right by Shang. Low kick behind it. Brief clinch, separation with two minutes to go. Both swing their power hands. Shang leg kick. Lead right lands. He tries to flurry, lands another right and grabs double underhooks. Two minutes to go.
Shang still pressuring, Puerta still cruising. Good uppercut by Shangon the exit with a minute to go, Puerta answers with a knee. Shang pushing hard, hurling right hands. 10-9 Shang.
Final result: Puerta def. Shang by split decision
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