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UFC ‘Contender Series’ results: Live stream play-by-play updates - Season 5, Ep. 5

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The world’s “toughest job interview” continues this evening as 10 fighters “vie to fulfill their dreams of earning a UFC contract.”

Dana White’s Contender Series - Season 4 Week 1 Photo by Chris Unger/DWCS LLC/Zuffa LLC

After a spectacular PPV this past weekend, UFC returns to the APEX once more tonight (Tues., Sept. 28, 2021) for the latest installment of Dana White’s Contender Series on ESPN+ (watch it here).

Four more fighters joined the world’s largest fight promotions last week. Victor Martinez’s upset over Jacob Rosales, Kleydson Rodrigues’ terrific outclassing of Santo Curatolo, and Michael Morales’ gritty decision over Nikolay Veretennikov produced contracts despite the lack of finishes, while AJ Dobson capped off the episode with a dominant submission of Hashem Arkhagha.

Unbeaten Pole Lukasz Sudolski (8-0) headlines tonight’s event against Ukraine’s Igor Poterya (19-3), who enters the cage on a 16-fight winning streak. Down at Lightweight, Albanian-born Dutchman Manuel Gaxhja (7-0) and Scottish Bellator vet Chris Duncan (7-0) meet in a clash of unbeatens, while Cage Fury Middleweight champ Aaron Jeffery (10-2) takes on Future FC champ Caio Borralho (8-1).

Two more undefeated fighters battle at Lightweight when Lucas Almeida (12-0) squares off with Daniel Zellhuber, and Rizvan Kuniev (10-2-1) opens the show against Edivan Santos (12-2) in a Heavyweight tussle.

‘Contender Series’ Quick Results:

Lukasz Sudolski vs. Igor Poterya — Poterya def. Sudolski by TKO (punches) at 3:41 of Round One
Manuel Gaxhja vs. Chris Duncan
Aaron Jeffery vs. Caio Borralho — Borralho def. Jeffery by unanimous decision (29-28 x2, 30-27)
Lucas Almeida vs. Daniel Zellhuber — Zellhuber def. Almeida by unanimous decision (29-28 x3)
Rizvan Kuniev vs. Edivan Santos — Kuniev def. Santos by TKO (punches and elbows) at 1:00 of Round Three

‘Contender Series’ Play-By-Play Results:

205 lbs.: Lukasz Sudolski vs. Igor Poterya

Round one: Good early work from Poterya, who lands on the counter before pursuing with combos. Sudolski ties up, gets reversed a minute in. Trading in the clinch against the fence. Jockeying for position and Sudolski lands a knee to the jewels. Exchanging right when they resume. Poterya hauls him back to the fence. Chipping away inside. Two minutes to go.

Sudolski reverses, lands a knee to the body. As soon as they separate, Poterya storms him with punches, slumping him against the fence and pouring it on for the TKO finish.

Final result: Poterya def. Sudolski by TKO (punches)


155 lbs.: Manuel Gaxhja vs. Chris Duncan

Round one:

Round two:

Round three:

Final result:


185 lbs.: Aaron Jeffery vs. Caio Borralho

Round one: Borralho southpaw, Jeffery orthodox. 1-2 from Borralho, constantly circling. Jeffery cracks him with a straight right, eats a straight left soon after. Near-miss on on the counter left from Borralho a minute in. Body kick connects. Counter left, jab. Good body shot met by a 3-2 from Jeffery into the clinch. Two minute in. They separate. Check hook from Borralho. Counter left as Jeffery ties up. Trading knees inside. Borralho reverses with over-unders. Two minutes to go.

Good knee to the body by Borralho. They separate. Crisp counters landing for him. One minute to go. More clean counters. Head kick lands against the fence. Jeffery blocks the next head kick and flurries on the fence before tying up. 10-9 Borralho.

Round two: Borralho changes levels and hauls Jeffery to the fence. Rear waist lock, Jeffery fighting the hands and manages to separate. One minute in. 1-2 by Borralho. Jeffery trying to find his way in, nearly walks into a flying knee as he ties up. They separate. Borralho tries a head kick two minutes in. Knee kick lands. Jeffery with a right hand into the clinch. Trading knees. He hits a throw with two minutes to go.

Borralho looking for the back, lets go when Jeffery stands. Counter straight, counter hook meet Jeffery as he ties up. One minute to go. Jeffery keeping him against the fence. Borralho tries a spinning elbow at the bell. 10-9 Borralho.

Round three: Jeffery punches his way into the clinch once again. Can’t get the high crotch. He tries to punch as they separate a minute in. Jeffery pushing forward with some solid punches, ties up again. Borralho responds with a trip two minutes in. Jeffery pops right back up. Borralho pressing him against the fence, eventually gets reversed. They separate with just over two minutes to go.

Jeffery going for it, cracks Borralho with some nice right hands. Good elbow in the clinch. Borralho reverses. Jeffery continuing to push forward and land at close range with a minute to go. Elbows from Jeffery on the fence. Borralho tries his own elbow and both land a punch at the same time. Borralho goes for a final head kick and counter left. 10-9 Jeffery.

Final result: Borralho def. Jeffery by unanimous decision


155 lbs.: Lucas Almeida vs. Daniel Zellhuber

Round one: Almeida pushing forward early. He buckles Zellhuber with a left hand against the fence and continues to stalk patiently. Calf kicks from Zellhuber, who cracks Almeida with a brutal cross in return. Trading bombs, big hook by Almeida. Clean 1-2 prompts Zellhuber to tie up a minute in. Almeida opens up on the break and goes back to pursuing. Heavy shots from both men. Two minutes in. Big 1-2 stings Zellhuber and they jockey for position on the fence. Both land clean right crosses after separating. Two minutes to go.

Zellhuber sending out body kicks, finds the mark with a counter right. 1-2 from Almeida, who walks into some stiff jabs. Good combination from Zellhuber. Check hook into the clinch. Knee on the break with a minute to go. Four-piece by Almeida inside. Body kick and jabs from Zellhuber. Almeida comes back with a big flurry and they trade bombs on the fence. Hell of a round. 10-9 Almeida.

Round two: Right back to trading heat. Almeida puts him on the fence after eating a knee inside. Zellhuber responds by reversing and hitting a high-amplitude throw into half guard. He briefly pins down a wrist for some ground-and-pound. One minute in. Zellhuber lands a hard elbow after getting caught in guard, then re-shoots when Almeida stands. They separate. Almeida back on the advance, Zellhuber landing off the back foot two minutes in. Body kick and left hook from Zellhuber. Almeida connects with a right cross. Now it’s Zellhuber on the front foot. Two minutes to go.

Body kick and right cross land for Zellhuber. They trade in the center. Zellhuber lead hook, Almeida overhand right. 1-2 by Almeida. Good exchange near the fence. Slick Brazilian kick lands clean for Zellhuber, who follows with a 3-2 with a minute to go. Two-piece from Almeida in return, gets spun around by a leg kick. Zellhuber lands a knee and puts him on the fence. Almeida lands some Browne elbows as he defends. 10-9 Zellhuber.

Round three: Almeida pushing forward once again but it’s Zellhuber landing the better shots. Slick jabs and a calf kick. Counter left. Almeida catches a body kick and eats a knee, which Zellhuber follows with a heavy volley on the fence a minute in. Left hook by Zellhuber. Almeida fires low kicks. Zellhuber lead right, teep, low kick exchange. Two minutes in. Things slowing back down. Head kick attempts from Zellhuber, who eats a body kick in return. Two minutes to go.

Check hook by Zellhuber, who dodges the return fire. Left hook exchange. Zellhuber to the body. Again. Front kick downstairs. 1-2. One minute to go. Almeida blitzes, lands a portion. Zellhuber responds with a spinning back kick behind a missed Brazilian kick. Teep, Superman jab, low kick, counter right. Combination, check hook. Almeida puts him on the fence. 10-9 Zellhuber.

Final result: Zellhuber def. Almeida by unanimous decision


265 lbs.: Rizvan Kuniev vs. Edivan Santos

Round one: Kuniev firing low kicks early, gets clipped leaning in by a right cross. Santos staying patient, eats another low kick. Kuniev punches into the clinch. They trade knees inside. One minute in. They separate. More Kuniev low kicks. Heavy clinch knee by Santos as Kuniev presses him against the fence. Low blow to Santos pauses the action. Kuniev still looking to land kicks two minutes in. Now he takes an eye poke. They resume soon after. Kuniev punches his way into the clinch once again. Santos exits quickly. Trading at range, nice uppercut by Santos inside. Two minutes to go.

Kuniev with another low kick, takes Santos to the fence once again. Single-leg to double-leg to bodylock to land on top in half guard. Santos latches onto a kimura with a minute to go and uses it to stand, then drives a knee into Kuniev’s midsection. Kuniev puts him on the fence once again. 10-9 Santos.

Round two: Kuniev opens with some solid kicks. Jab from Santos, eats a body kick in return. 1-1-2 and a looping overhand land for Kuniev as he puts Santos on the fence. He separates, opens up, re-enters a minute in. Santos separates soon after. 1-1-3 from Kuniev into the clinch once again. Two minutes in. Ref wants more action. Kuniev dumps him down with a single-leg, then slips out of a triangle to land in side control. Half guard with two minutes to go.

Santos looking for a kimura, Kuniev defending with a grip on his own shorts. Short punches and elbows from Kuniev and he extracts his arm. One minute to go. More GnP from Kuniev, who briefly threatens a front headlock when Santos tries to stand. Kuniev uses a cradle to drag him back down and land some more shots before the bell. 10-9 Kuniev.

Round three: 1-1-2 from Kuniev into the clinch. He lifts and dumps Santos down into guard. Kuniev chipping away from on top. Now he postures up with heavier blows and Santos turns away, allowing Kuniev to rack up big strikes until the ref steps in.

Final result: Kuniev def. Santos by TKO (punches and elbows)


For more “Contender Series” news and notes, be sure to hit up our comprehensive archive right here.