The first season of Dana White's Tuesday Night Contender Series will come to a close this week, with five more matchups featuring the top prospects in mixed martial arts.
A ton of new talent has been discovered on the show thus far, and two more UFC contracts were handed out last week, as Joby Sanchez made his return to the UFC after picking up his second win on the DWTNCS, while Benito Lopez also got the call up to the big show after putting on one of the most thrilling fights of the season.
This week will see several more up and coming fighters look to impress White and the UFC matchmakers, including a marquee bout featuring two undefeated lightweights. The second women's bout will also take place this week, with the bantamweight division being featured for the first time.
With that said, let's take a look at the matchups taking place this week on Dana White's Tuesday Night Contender Series.
Somebody's “0” has got to go in this matchup of undefeated lightweight prospects, as Matt Frevola takes on Luke Flores in the featured bout on the card.
Frevola comes to the Contender Series from his home gym in Tampa, Fla. where he works with a top-notch group of Brazilian jiu-jitsu specialists. Frevola actually grew up competing in several sports, including high school wrestling, but it was a chance grappling match with a friend that showed him just how dangerous submissions on the ground can be, and that got him interested in the sport. Frevola is perfect in both his amateur and professional career with wins by submission and knockout on his record.
Flores fights out of Texas with an equally dominating style every single time he steps into the cage. Through his first seven fights, Flores has only gone to a decision on one occasion, and he's finished the rest of his opponents with a slew of submissions and knockouts. Flores trains alongside former UFC fighter Francisco Trevino, as well as Carlos Diego Ferreira, so he's got plenty of experience in his corner as he looks to rack up his eighth professional win.
With both Frevola and Flores touting a ton of finishes between them, this lightweight scrap promises a ton of fireworks on Tuesday night.
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Two more undefeated fighters will clash in this middleweight matchup between Bevon Lewis and Elias Urbina.
Lewis only has three professional fights, but he has an extensive background from his amateur career while training out of Georgia, where he worked alongside several notable UFC fighters, including Cole Miller and Dhiego Lima. Most recently, Lewis uprooted his life and relocated to New Mexico, where he began training at the famed Jackson-Winkeljohn academy alongside Donald "Cowboy" Cerrone, Diego Sanchez, Alistair Overeem and a slew of other notable fighters from around the world. Lewis is a heavy hitter, but he has also pulled off two wins by decision, so he's got the conditioning to go all 15 minutes if necessary.
Urbina will actually be making his second appearance at The Ultimate Fighter gym after first trying out for season 23 of the reality show just a couple years ago. Urbina made it into the house with a victory over Norman Paraisy, but then fell short in the quarterfinals against current UFC middleweight Eric Spicely. Urbina will now look to rectify that loss by returning to the same gym while looking for a win against Lewis.
Casey Kenney will be making his second appearance on the Contender series after picking up a unanimous decision victory over CJ Hamilton back in week two. Unfortunately, that victory didn't earn him a spot on the UFC roster, so Kenney will look to get another win this week while trying to make a point to the matchmakers that he should be added to the flyweight roster.
Antolin will look to send him packing while also trying to get his own spot after coming up short during season 24 of The Ultimate Fighter. Antolin was ranked as the No. 13 flyweight in the competition but then he pulled off one of the biggest upsets in the tournament when he finished UFC and WEC veteran Damacio Page in his opening round contest. Antolin came up short in his next fight against Hiromasa Ogikubo, but now he'll get a second chance when he fights Kenney this week.
Here is a look at the #ContenderSeries Week 8 Fight Card!!!
Should be fire once again!
The women's bantamweight division will be showcased for the first time on this week's edition of the Contender series, as Kelly Velasco takes on Lauren Mueller.
Velasco joins the Contender series after a pair of fights in Invicta FC where she most recently faced current UFC bantamweight Aspen Ladd after picking up a win in a fight against Meagan Goodwin in her debut. Velasco trains out of Modesto, Calif., where she works alongside several notable fighters, including Randall Wallace, who just competed on week six of the DWTNCS. Velasco is known for a high intensity style whenever she steps into the cage, so look for a lot of action out of her on Tuesday night.
Mueller steps in with a perfect record thus far in the early part of her career while fighting primarily out of California. Mueller trains out of Alliance MMA in San Diego, where she works under head coach Eric Del Fierro as well as several top women's fighters, including former title challenger Cat Zingano, as well as current strawweight contender Angela Hill. Mueller packs a lot of power for a bantamweight, so she'll definitely look to bring the fight when she faces Velasco this week.
The kickoff bout this week will feature a pair of heavyweights trying to join the UFC roster.
Don'Tale Mayes might be one of the best up and coming prospects in the heavyweight division after amassing eight wins as an amateur and three more as a pro, with his only loss coming by disqualification due to an illegal elbow strike. Mayes stands at 6-foot-6 with a long reach and massive size, so don't blink when he starts throwing strikes.
Allen Crowder will certainly try to steal his thunder, however, as he comes into the fight with a little bit more experience while facing some seriously tough competition during his career, including a bout with current top 15 fighter Curtis Blaydes. Crowder has finished off numerous opponents in the past with a mix of knockouts and submissions, so he's going to be dangerous no matter where this fight takes place. He'll be giving up some size to Mayes, but don't discount Crowder finding his way inside to bring the pressure in this heavyweight slugfest.