Dana White’s Contender Series returns for season six!
Starting July 26th 2022, a plethora of prospects from around the globe convene at the UFC Apex, competing for the opportunity to join the premier MMA promotion; the UFC.
With the first week on the horizon, here is a tidbits snapshot for each of the Week 1 participants to whet the palate.
Ozzy Diaz (USA) v Joseph Pyfer (USA)
Ozzy Diaz – A Legacy Fighting Alliance and Lights Out Xtreme Fighting Middleweight Champion, Ozzy Diaz (7-1) is yet to see the third round during his professional career. Indeed, all seven of his professional victories are by way of stoppage (5 KO/TKO’s and 2 submissions). The combined record of Diaz’s last four opponents? 29-12.
Joseph Pyfer – An Art Of War Cage Fighting, and Ring Of Combat Middleweight Champion, Joseph Pyfer boasts an 8-2 professional record that includes seven stoppage victories (5 KO/TKO’s, 2 submissions). “Bodybagz” featured on Contender Series in 2020, but suffered an elbow dislocation that ended his bout immediately.
Farid Basharat (Afghanistan) v Willian Souza (Brazil)
Farid Basharat – Undefeated Farid Basharat boasts an 8-0 professional record that includes 5 Rear-Naked Choke submissions. “Ferocious” most recently fought March 12th at War of Titans 2, submitting Venezuelan Raul Guzmán. The combined record of Basharat’s last three opponents? 26-12-1.
Willian Souza – Willian Souza is both the Featherweight AND Bantamweight Jungle Fight Championship champion. Despite losing his professional debut to 5-1 Alan de Carvalho, 11-1 “Colorado” has since amassed an 11 fight win-streak, with all eleven wins via stoppage (9 KO/TKO’s, 2 submissions).
Anton Turkalj (Sweden) v Acácio dos Santos (Brazil)
Anton Turkalj – In April 2021, undefeated Anton Turkalj set the record for the fastest knockout in Brave Combat Federation history, stopping Konstantin Soldatov via spinning back fist in just 13 seconds. “The Pleasure Man” holds an all-stoppage 7-0 professional record (5 KO/TKO’s, 2 submissions).
Acácio dos Santos – Holding a 14-4 professional record, Acácio dos Santos has only lost once in his last ten bouts. That loss, to Marcos Brigagão (a previous Contender Series participant), was a stoppage by the event doctor, due to a cut on dos Santos’ head. “Pequeno” would later defeat Brigagão in a rematch.
Dennis Buzukja (USA/Albania) v Kaleio Romero (USA)
Dennis Buzukja – A participant in 2020, Dennis Buzukja returns to Contender Series having since built a 3-fight win-streak that includes retaining the Ring Of Combat Featherweight Championship twice. Three of Buzukja’s six professional Ring Of Combat bouts have been successful Championship bouts.
Kaleio Romero – Fighting out of Sacramento, California, 6-1 Kaleio Romero has fought professionally at both Lightweight and Featherweight. Undefeated at 145lbs, “KO” most recently competed in June 2021, for Combate Global; there, he finished American Andy Perez via first-round TKO.
Alessandro Costa (Brazil) v Andrés Luna Martinetti (Ecuador)
Alessandro Costa – Since making his promotional debut for LUX Fight League in 2019, 10-2 Alessandro Costa has amassed a five-fight win-streak that includes winning, and defending twice, the LUX Fight League Flyweight Championship. The combined record of those 5 LUX Fight League opponents? 38-15.
Andrés Luna Martinetti – Fighting out of Guayaquil, undefeated Andrés Luna Martinetti holds a 12-0 professional record. A Fusion Fighting Championship Flyweight Champion, the Ecuadorian has fought professionally at both 125lbs (six bouts) and 135lbs (six bouts). At Ultimate Warrior Challenge Mexico 30, Luna Martinetti secured a rare Calf Slicer submission.