Season 6 of Dana White’s Contender Series (DWCS) rolls on tonight (Tues., Aug. 16, 2022) with Episode 4, which sees international talent take center stage at 8 p.m. ET on ESPN+.
Though it only produced two finishes, last week’s episode resulted in three UFC call-ups and one invitation to return to the program. Erik Silva’s 92-second demolition job of Anvar Boyanazarov, Jamal Pogues’ second DWCS victory, and Clayton Carpenter’s gritty decision over Edgar Chairez all left the winners Octagon-bound, while Bo Nickal will return on Sept. 27, 2022, after scoring a 62-second submission (watch highlights).
Thomas Paull (11-3) faces Argentine finisher Esteban Ribovics (10-0) in the Lightweight main event, while Middleweight knockout artist Claudio Ribeiro (9-2) meets Lux Fight League champ Ivan Valenzuela (8-1) in the card’s only bout above 155. Cage Warriors champ Jack Cartwright (10-0) fights the returning Jose Johnson (14-7) at 135, which also hosts a bout betwene Hailey Cowan (6-2) and Claudia Leite (7-2). Finally, Fury FC vet Nazim Sadykhov (6-1) opens the show against Afghanistan’s Ahmad Suhail Hassanzada (9-1).
‘Contender Series’ Quick Results:
Thomas Paull vs. Esteban Ribovics — RIbovics def. Paull by KO (punches) at 1:30 of Round One
Claudio Ribeiro vs. Ivan Valenzuela — Ribeiro def. Valenzuela by KO (punch) at 0:25 of Round One
Jack Cartwright vs. Jose Johnson — Johnson def. Cartwright by unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28 x2)
Hailey Cowan vs. Claudia Leite — Cowan def. Leite by split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
Nazim Sadykhov vs. Ahmad Suhail Hassanzada — Sadykhov def. Hassanzada by KO (punch) at 1:59 of Round Three
‘Contender Series’ Play-By-Play Results:
155 lbs.: Thomas Paull vs. Esteban Ribovics
Round one: Ribovics comes out slugging but it’s Paull landing the bigger shots early. Just as things are heating up, Ribovics punts Paull in the balls. They waste no time when they return to action. Paull falling short with haymakers. There’s a counter left. Hard low kick. One minute in. Ribovics working behind his jab, lands a body shot. Paull’s flurries continuing to come up short, and when he tries to press in harder, Ribovics sparks him with a clean right hook. A few more follow-ups and it’s over.
Final result: Ribovics def. Paull by KO (punches)
185 lbs.: Claudio Ribeiro vs. Ivan Valenzuela
Round one: Ribeiro opens with leg kicks, and as an off-balance Valenzuela tries to spin back around, Ribero obliterates him with a monster left hook. Valenzuela appears to be awake when he hits the mat, but the ref calls it off regardless.
Final result: Ribeiro def. Valenzuela by KO (punch)
135 lbs.: Jack Cartwright vs. Jose Johnson
Round one: Johnson fires kicks, then slams Cartwright into half guard when Cartwright blitzes. Lovely sweep by Cartwright into butterfly guard. Good balance as Johnson tries to dislodge him. One minute in. North-south for Cartwright, who wraps up a Japanese necktie as Johnson looks to sweep. He transitions to an anaconda and rolls. No dice, re-adjusts, settles for a trip into guard two minutes in. Johnson looks for an armbar, denied. Half guard for Cartwright. Johnson slips out and avoids a kneebar to take top position with two minutes to go.
Cartwright sits up into a takedown attempt, then disengages. Low kick from Johnson, flurry by Cartwright. Nice knees by Johnson, who avoids a guillotine to settle in side control. Cartwright stands, barely avoids a knee with a minute to go. Cartwright to the body. Nice double-leg directly to the back. Johnson slips out the back door and takes mount. He’s got an arm trapped and he’s dropping brutal strikes. Cartwright slips out, eats body shots. 10-9 Johnson.
Round two: Front kick from Johnson. Nice right hook by Cartwright. Trading low kicks. Cartwright backs him to the fence, shoots, and latches onto his back. Hunting the RNC. One minute in. Half guard now. Butterfly guard two minutes in. Cartwright trying to pass, having issues getting past Johnson’s legs. Body triangle off of Johnson’s back. Ref stands them up as Cartwright’s punching. Cartwright shoots right away, absorbing a knee in the process, then slips over the top with two minutes to go.
Front headlock for Johnson. Looking for the power guillotine, can’t get it, rips a body shot as Cartwright stands. Knee and elbow by Johnson, only for Cartwright to drag him down again and look for the back. Solid punches with a minute to go. Johnson manages to turn into top guard. Some right hands in the final seconds. Close round. 10-9 Johnson on damage?
Round three: Johnson looks for a switch kick, lands a low kick. More kicks. Cartwright flurries into a takedown attempt and wrenches Johnson to the mat. Johnson immediately looks for a triangle, dropping elbows as he does. One minute in. Cartwright works his way to half guard. Two minutes in. Heavy shoulder pressure from Cartwright, not a lot of strikes. Ref wants more action. Jojhnson sweeps right into the crucifix with two minutes to go.
Mount for Johnson, wraps up a triangle as Cartwright turns into guard. Hard elbows as he cinches it up. Cartwright slips free, tries to shoot, gets caught in the front headlock. One minute to go. Nice kimura attempt, but Johnson scrambles free and settles in mount, dropping elbows. He continues to strike until the bell. 10-9 Johnson.
Final result: Johnson def. Cartwright by unanimous decision
135 lbs.: Hailey Cowan vs. Claudia Leite
Round one: Low kick from Leite. Man, she looks WAY smaller than Cowan. No clean connections in the early going. Leite catches a kick, gets hauled to the fence a minute in. Leite tries an inside trip, gets taken back to the fence. Elbow and knee from Cowan two minutes in. Cowan keeping her against the fence, looking for short strikes. Two minutes to go.
Leite tries to reverse, can’t get the inside trip, still stuck against the fence. Once they separate, they bring in the doctor to look at Leite’s cut. She gets the go-ahead to continue. Both fall short with kicks. Lead left by Cowan with a minute to go. Leite having all kinds of problems with the reach. 10-9 Cowan.
Round two: Leite looking aggressive, lands a body shot. Nice knee from Cowan, but she gets taken down into side control. She regains guard. One minute in. Cowan throws elbows, tries to kick her off. Leite dives in with a right hand. Cowan turns to her knees and Leite capitalizes, inserting both hooks two minutes in. Cowan trying to slip out he back, but Leite readjusts. Two minutes to go.
Cowan nearly manages to dislodge a hook, then nearly manages to slip out the back. Leite maintains control with a single hook and transitions into an arm triangle with a minute to go. Cowan manages to tough it out and regain guard. 10-9 Leite.
Round three: Solid side kick from Cowan and a back fist behind it. Thai clinch, knee, whizzer kick to counter a takedown into half guard. One minute in. Elbows from Cowan. Leite trying to isolate an arm, not doing much to it. Two minutes in. Short punches from Cowan, who’s looking to pin down Leite’s arm. Solid shots as she advances to mount. Now the back, but Leite turns into top position with two minutes to go.
Half guard for Leite. Cowan unable to regain guard. One minute to go. Elbows by Leite. North-south, side control. Leite jumps on her back in the final seconds and grabs an RNC. 10-9 Cowan on damage.
Final result: Cowan def. Leite by split decision
155 lbs.: Nazim Sadykhov vs. Ahmad Suhail Hassanzada
Round one: Sadykov catches a low kick, then hurts Hassanzada with a spinning back kick and forces him to the mat. On top in guard. Nasty elbows split Hassanzada open. He’s posturing for some brutal shots. One minute in. Hassanzada not offering a ton off his back as Sadykhov periodically lands punches and elbows. Two minutes in. Sadykhov still landing, though he’s dialed it back after that fast start. Occasional armbar attempt from Hassanzada that doesn’t get anywhere. Two minutes to go.
Half guard for Sadykhov. There’s a nice sweep from Hassanzada, who takes guard. Looking for the back on the way up, keeping Sadykhov from separating. Solid elbows from Sadykhov as he defends with a minute to go. Hassanzada still driving against the fence, can’t budge him. 10-9 Sadykhov.
Round two: Hassanzada aggressive early. Clash of heads. Body kick by Sadykhov. Sadykhov motions to the ref that Hassanzada is sticking his fingers out, then pokes Hassanzada in the eye. Only on the Contender Series. Head kick to right hand from Hassanzada, who gets plugged by a counter left a minute in. Nice low kick lands for him and spins Sadykhov around. Sadykhov comes back with a low-high combo, but surrenders a takedown. Working his way up against the fence. Hassanzada still attached two minutes in. Stalemated as Hassanzada presses him against the side. They separate. Brief exchange, then another level change by Hassanzada. Two minutes to go.
Solid elbows by Sadykhov before separating. Two-piece comes back at him, but he answers with an overhand left. Hassanzada shoots, denied, eats a head kick that wraps around. Sadykhov follows with another hard left and has to fight off another takedown. One minute to go. Sadykhov looking to land short shots as he defends. Separation with 15 to go. Hassanzada lands a body kick, then gets sent to the canvas by a looping left downstairs. 10-9 Sadykhov.
Round three: Early spinning back kick by Sadykhov, avoids an ugly one in return. Lovely pull counter to wheel kick. Hassanzada throwing back, exchanging near the fence. Sadykhov throwing heat on the break. One minute in. Wheel kick just misses. Lead left doesn’t. Counter uppercut, firing combos. Lead elbow by Hassanzada. They trade body kicks. Sadykhov overhand, Hassanzada straight right. Sadykhov continues to stalk, and it’s a right to the body followed by a right to the head that finally send Hassanzada to the canvas.
Final result: Sadykhov def. Hassanzada by KO (punch)
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