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UFC ‘Contender Series’ results: Live stream play-by-play updates - Season 7, Ep. 6

Dana White’s Contender Series enters the latter half of Season 7 tonight (Tues., Sept. 12, 2023), once again giving 10 would-be contenders the chance to earn a spot in the Octagon.

The action begins, as it will for the rest of the season, at 8 p.m. ET on ESPN+,

After a couple weeks of having standards, the Baldfather opened the floodgates again last week. All five victors walked away with contracts; Brendson Ribeiro, Serhiy Sidey, and Dione Barbossa punched their tickets with first-round finishes, while Jean Silva out-warred Kevin Vallejos and Dylan Budka won White over despite stinking out the joint against Chad Hanekom.

Tonight’s lineup is full of returning faces. The main event sees Malik Lewis (6-1), who fell to Trevor Peek almost exactly a year ago, try to even up his DWC record against Peruvian young gun James Llontop (13-2). The onslaught of former kickboxers continues in the co-feature with longtime Glory vet Jhonata Diniz (5-0), who welcomes Eduardo Neves back to the program after “BBZao’s” 2022 loss to Mick Parkin.

Fortis MMA’s Steven Nguyen (7-2) makes his third DWCS bid against AJ Cunningham (10-2), LFA champ Julia Polastri (11-3) returns after two years to fight Patricia Alujas (9-2), and undefeated Jean Matsumoto (13-0) battles Kasey Tanner (6-0) in the opener.

‘Contender Series’ Quick Results:

James Llontop vs. Malik Lewis — Llontop def. Lewis by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-26 x2)
Jhonata Diniz vs. Eduardo Neves — Diniz def. Neves by TKO (punches) at 3:15 of Round One
Steven Nguyen vs. AJ Cunningham — Nguyen def. Cunningham by TKO (punches) at 4:06 of Round Two
Julia Polastri vs. Patricia Alujas — Polastri def. Alujas by submission (rear naked choke) at 4:05 of Round Two
Jean Matsumoto vs. Kasey Tanner — Matsumoto def. Tanner by unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28 x2)

‘Contender Series’ Play-By-Play Results:

155 lbs.: James Llontop vs. Malik Lewis

Round one: Both throw right hands at the same time and Lewis uses it to tie up. Llontop reverses against the fence. Hard elbow on the exit a minute in. They trade kicks and Lewis changes levels, forcing Llontop to his knees and hunting a guillotine. Llontop quickly returns to his feet and puts him on the fence. They trade on the exit two minutes in. Counter hook by Llontop. Lewis slips throwing a kick and Llontop follows him down into guard. Quick scramble from Lewis into a takedown attempt, but a strong whizzer lets Llontop return to his feet and put him on the fence. Reactive shot by Lewis on the break. Two minutes to go.

Heavy exchange on the break, Lewis gets the better of it. Left hook from Llontop. One minute to go. Long cross lands for Lewis. He shoots, lands a pair of knees on the break. Jab to counter a low kick. Body kicks from Llontop, then a huge right cross that sends Lewis staggering back. Lewis gets his bearings and throws back before the bell. 10-9 Llontop.

Round two: Low kicks from Llontop. Lewis to the body. Llontop lands a left downstairs and avoids a flying knee when Lewis ties up. Big swings from Lewis a minute in. Llontop dings him with a counter right and fights off a single-leg, landing elbows. He reverses and starts blasting on the exit. Big punches and elbows landing for Llontop. Lewis brute-forces his way off the fence, absorbing elbows as he does. Llontop again forces him to the fence. Lewis lands some big shots, but loses his footing, and Llontop pounces once again. He takes Lewis down into guard, chipping away with punches and elbows. Two minutes to go.

Side control for Llontop. Big elbows. Lewis gets to his knees, trying to stand. Llongtop digging knees into Lewis’ side as he continues to thump him with left hands. Side control with a minute to go. Llontop dishing out a steady diet of punches as Lewis tries to work his way off his knees. Lewis finally makes it up in the final seconds. 10-8 Llontop.

Round three: Llontop body shot to answer a leg kick. Lewis giving ground but throwing back. Nice check hook. Trading hooks now. Low kick from Llontop a minute in. Another long right lands for him. Lewis shoots and Llontop punishes him with a pair of short elbows before forcing his way back into top position. Solid scramble from Lewis but again that whizzer keeps Llontop in a good spot, landing punches. Big shots on the break. Lewis tries to storm after him with wide swings. Two minutes in. Llontop back on the advance. Good low kick. Left hook upstairs. Another hard elbow lands for Llontop, then a right cross behind it that either drops Lewis or makes him change levels. Either way, Llontop back on top with two minutes to go.

Lewis stuck on his knees, Llontop chipping away. Lewis goes to his back and looks for a triangle with a minute to go. Llontop slips past it and takes side control, then goes back to attacking from turtle. He tries a neck crank, no dice, back to punching. Llontop lands some hard shots on the exit and avoids some big swings in return. 10-9 Llontop.

Final result: Llontop def. Lewis by unanimous decision

265 lbs.: Jhonata Diniz vs. Eduardo Neves

Round one: Neves tries a front kick to start. Low kick, head kick attempt, jab. Wheel kick just misses and he slips in the process. Diniz tries to get some punches going and gets hauled to the fence, though he quickly breaks free. Diniz stalking, eats a jab. Neves taunting as he avoids teh worst of Diniz’s shots. Hard counter right and he tries to press the issue, both men landing well. Neves really landing well with his southpaw jab. Diniz backs him to the fence two minutes in and tries to wing bombs. Neves catches a kick, can’t use it. Heavy right cross by Diniz, his best shot so far. Neves comes back with a 1-1-3. Good knee and right hook by Diniz behind a two-piece and Neves is retreating. Good shot sends Neves to his knees, though he pops up before Diniz can capitalize. Neves initially survives the onslaught, but when he tries to walk Diniz down, Diniz comes back with a 1-2 down the pipe that immediately shuts the lights off.

Final result: Diniz def. Neves by TKO (punches)

145 lbs.: Steven Nguyen vs. AJ Cunningham

Round one: Heavy combo from Cunningham early on. Trading hands in the center. Nguyen counters a low kick with an overhand right to knock Cunningham over. Cunningham pops up and goes back to slinging combos. One minute in. Cunningham punches into double underhooks, can’t do anything with them. Nguyen jab, Cunningham uppercuts. 1-2 from Nguyen two minutes in. Heavy shots in the center from both men. Cunningham counters to the body. Trading punches in close, Nguyen with the more accurate shots. Both attack the body before exchanging in center cage. Cunningham to the body again with two minutes to go.

Cunningham looks for a head kick behind a two-piece. Jab from Nguyen, counter body shots form Cunningham after slipping a combo. Cunningham’s landing the better shots but Nguyen’s doing quite well behind the jab. One minute to go. Clinch knee by Cunningham, eats a 1-2 in return. More rib roasters from Cunningham. Cunningham knee strays low. Cunningham blasts the body when they resume, which leaves his hands too occupied to block the monster right cross that Nguyen uses to floor him. Nguyen swarms him, but despite landing to the back of the head and after the bell, he can’t put Cunningham away. 10-9 Nguyen.

Round two: They meet in the center and get back to trading. Low kicks from Cunningham. Hard cross from Nguyen and a stiff jab behind it. Cunningham shoots, denied, eats another jab a minute in. Nguyen super accurate with his punches but Cunningham’s still game to trade with him. Gnarly jabs by Nguyen. Counter combo. Cunningham tries a single-leg, can’t get it. Heavy body shot. Two minutes in. Things slow down rather abruptly. Cunningham sneaks some shots through the guard. They trade with two minutes to go.

Uppercut-hook by Nguyen. Lengthy flurries from both. Both are landing some impressive shots. Nguyen’s definitely doing more damage, though. Big combo prompts Cunningham to shoot and Nguyen denies it before knuckling down and unloading. Though Cunningham’s still trying to trade with him, his legs just aren’t there, and the ref steps in as Nguyen tees off on his head.

Final result: Nguyen def. Cunningham by TKO (punches)

115 lbs.: Julia Polastri vs. Patricia Alujas

Round one: Alujas light on her feet as she circles. Polastri more deliberate with her movement. 1-2s landing for Alujas. One minute in. Jab from Polastri. Good exchange, Alujas landing punches as Polastri fires kicks. Polastri lands a leg kick, eats a right hand. Alujas firing 1-2s, eats low and body kicks two minutes in. Alujas lands a series of right hands, eats some from Polastri soon after. Heavy punches from both and it’s Alujas landing the bigger shots. Switch head kick from Polastri and she turns up the head, stalking Alujas across the cage with punches and kicks. Two minutes to go.

Alujas shrugs off a switch head kick and body kick, trying to counter with volume as Polastri stalks and picks her shots. Both women landing heat. Trading knees in the clinch. One minute to go. Alujas answers a teep with a flurry. 1-2, body kick by Polastri. Alujas lands a spinning back fist and fires volume as Polastri wades in. Big shots from Polastri in the last 10 seconds. 10-9 Polastri.

Round two: Polastri slams home some gnarly right hands, then follows with a high knee. Alujas is still keeping a ton of punches in her face but Polastri’s walking through them to land power. High-amplitude double-leg by Polastri, who looks for the back as Alujas tries to stand. One minute in. Alujas stuck on her knees as Polastri chips away with knees. Two minutes in. Polastri continues to control. Solid flurry of punches. Two minutes to go.

Polastri softening her up with one hook, alternating between punches and looking for the neck. She slowly worms her forearm under the chin, then locks it up to force the tap.

Final result: Polastri def. Alujas by submission (rear naked choke)

135 lbs.: Jean Matsumoto vs. Kasey Tanner

Round one: Tanner pushing forward early behind the jab. Matsumoto firing low kicks in return. Knee from Tanner when they tie up. Tanner backs him up with a combo, lands a knee downstairs. One minute in. Matsumoto switches stance, firing crisp combos and landing low kicks along the way. Counter combo from Turner capped by a leg kick. Matsumoto really piling up the leg kicks. Two minutes in. Body kick from Tamner amid the barrage of low kicks from Matsumoto. Tanner low kick, Matsumoto head kick and blitz. Tanner puts him on the fence with two minutes to go.

Short elbow from Tanner, knee from Matsumoto, more knees from Tanner. Matsumoto turns him, denies an outside trip, and exits with a knee. Back to the low kicks. One minute to go. Tanner tries a combo capped with a knee and head kick attempt. Matsumoto low kick to boxing combo. They tie up and Matsumoto takes him to the fence. Tanner reverses. 10-9 Matsumoto.

Round two: Matsumoto comes out hot, Tanner tries to retake the initiative. Matsumoto hammers home more leg kicks and Tanner’s really feeling them at this point. Nice body shots from Tanner. One minute in. Good exchange in center cage. Matsumoto backs him off with a three-piece and they trade. His hands are starting to find the mark as well. Tanner indefatigable, still marching after him but trying to keep his leg safe. Trading punches and kicks in center cage. Two minutes in. Tanner shoots and hauls Matsumoto to the fence, landing a good knee downstairs. Matsumoto reverses and exits with a knee. Tanner lands some heavy body shots, which seem like his best idea so far. Two minutes to go.

Matsumoto whiffs on a spinning back fist. Combo from Tanner. Tanner low kick met by a combo. High-speed trades. One minute to go. Better shot from Tanner and this one puts him on top with a minute to go. Right to half guard. Matsumoto gets enough space to stand but gets pressed against the fence again. Knees from Matsumoto, heavy punches from Tanner. They slug it out in the final seconds. 10-9 Matsumoto.

Round three: Nice boxing exchanges to start the round. Trading leg kicks, body shot by Tanner. Tanner body kicks, then a nice right hand that catches Matsumoto reaching. Matsumoto comes back with a lengthy combo. Both attack the body a minute in. Tanner ducks a left hand and shoots. He can’t get it but lands a knee on teh exit. Heavy hands from both at point blank. Matsumoto’s getting the better of it, punching right through Tanner’s guard with high output. He denies another takedown two minutes in. Big right cross by Matsumoto. Sneaky elbow from Tanner. Matsumoto really starting to pull away with increasingly accurate punches. High knee with two minutes to go.

Tanner elbow, Matsumoto body shot. Matsumoto combo capped by a knee. Tanner hits a nice knee tap to land on top in side control. Matsumoto regains half guard. Full guard with a minute to go. Nice elbows from Tanner. Matsumoto tries to grab a guillotine, Tanner passes to half guard. Quick sweep puts Matsumoto back on the feet and they absolutely tear into each other until the bell. Hell of a fight. 10-9 Matsumoto.

Final result: Matsumoto def. Tanner by unanimous decision

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

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