Everybody’s favorite Tuesday night action is upon us again. Dana White’s Contender Series is back for Week 2, live from the Apex in Las Vegas. Last week saw four fights produce five contracts and plenty of action. This week, we’re back to the five-fight card format and a lot of fun match ups. And we’re here to make sure that it’s not only entertaining but profitable as well.
Dana White’s Contender Series – Week 2 Predicitions
Logan Urban (+235) vs Josh Quinlan
Logan Urban steps into the Contender Series main event on just a couple of day’s notice. Josh Quinlan was originally supposed to face Darian Weeks, who had a cornerman test positive for COVID and had to be removed. With little time to see any line movement, Urban shows up at a +235 dog, and I’m assuming that’s only because of the late replacement aspect. Urban has incredible power and some decent wrestling. I think he’s a little faster than Quinlan on the feet and clearly has more raw KO power than his opponent. I like Urban to tag Quinlan in a wild exchange here and get the finish.
Chidi Njokuani (-102) vs Mario Sousa
You may remember Mario Sousa from last year’s Contender Series, where he fought and beat Mariusz Ksiazkiewicz. In that fight, Sousa really wanted to just stand and trade but kept getting taken down by Ksiazkiewicz. Luckily for him, he had great sweeps and bottom attacks. Those led him to advantageous positions and eventually a decision. win. In this fight, I expect Chidi Njokuani to give Sousa more of the fight he wanted – a striker’s delight. Unfortunately for Sousa, I think he’s just a step slower and less technical than Njokuani. It’s also going to be the first time that Sousa is giving up reach to an opponent, which I expect will be difficult for him since he likes to kick from a distance where he can’t usually be hit. Give me Njaokuani by decision here. He certainly has the ability to KO Sousa, but I think the technical defense of Sousa holds up enough to go the full 15 minutes.
Saimon Oliveira (-225) vs Jose Alday
Oliveira is not shy about where he wants the fight to go. You can see in some of his old fights that he reaches the clinch and is more than happy to try to jump a guillotine or guard. He just wants to be on the ground as quickly as possible. While falling to his back is the strategy sometimes, he does also have some pretty solid double legs and body clinch takedowns. They should be more than enough here as Alday is pretty susceptible to the takedown. He gave up a slew of them to UFC veteran Joby Sanchez in his last loss. I expect him to not only concede the takedowns to Oliveira here but to also get submitted by Oliveira. With his finishing ability, Oliveira is a frontrunner for one of those Contender Series contracts too.
Bruno Korea (-184) vs CJ Vegara
You may remember Bruno Korea from a number of places. The Brazilian went 2-1 in the TUF house as part of TUF Brazil: Season 4. He then got a quick shot in the UFC and was turned away by a Japanese necktie from Matheus Nicolau. Now he’s back, on a six-fight unbeaten streak, and in the Contender Series. The thing that made him so fun to watch in the first place is that he’s a wild man with crazy power. He throws spinning attacks, hook kicks, question mark kicks – you name it. Against a talented grappler like Nicolau, he paid the price. However, Vegara is a bit less polished when it comes to the ground and is going to be way slower than Korea. Korea by KO is the pick and I think it’s probably my top play of the whole card.
Muin Gafurov (-270) vs Chad Anheliger
Gafurov enters this fight having won six of his last seven and in good organizations to boot. He fought for One FC and then UAE Warriors – which are two of the better promotions out of Asia at the moment. But it isn’t just good organizations he’s fighting in, but top-flight competition as well. He holds a KO victory over Leandro Issa and fought John Lineker to a decision, which Lineker took. How can you not love somebody who is willing to stand and trade with Lineker on the feet for 15 minutes and lives to tell the tale? On top of his durability and striking acumen, Gafurov has the ability to take his Contender Series counterpart down, should he deem it necessary. While it’s worth noting that Anheliger faced TUF finalist Brady Hiestand and won by TKO, he still just doesn’t have the resume that Gafurov does. While I don’t love this line all that much, the play is Gafurov by decision.
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