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Dana White's Contender Series

Dana White’s Contender Series Preview | Season 6, Week 1

Take A Closer Look At The Fighter's That Make Up Week 1 Of Dana White's Contender Series Season 6. Catch All The Action Tuesday Night's On ESPN+

Over the first five seasons of Dana White’s Contender Series (DWCS), the 115 fighters that have been awarded UFC contracts have combined to produce 250 victories inside the Octagon; 285 if you include the 35 wins earned by the 11 competitors that earned entrée to the UFC roster from the three-week All-Brazilian run in the fall of 2018.

Two graduates from the series — Alex Perez and Taila Santos — have garnered championship opportunities, while 17 alums are currently stationed in the Top 15 in their respective divisions, including Maycee Barber, Marina Rodriguez, Ryan Spann, Geoff Neal, and Sean O’Malley.

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Last year’s grads have already piled up a combined 25 victories in their first eight months on the roster, and on Tuesday evening, the first five pairs of fighters hoping to join the alumni of the annual talent search series make the walk to the Octagon inside the UFC APEX in hopes of impressing UFC President Dana White and the matchmaking tandem of Sean Shelby and Mick Maynard.

It’s time to kick off another season of Dana White’s Contender Series!

Ozzy Diaz vs Joe Pyfer

Ozzy Diaz vs Joe Pyfer Preview | DWCS Season 6 Week 1
Ozzy Diaz vs Joe Pyfer Preview | DWCS Season 6 Week 1

Middleweights Ozzy Diaz and Joe Pyfer get the main event assignment for the opening week of the season.

The 31-year-old Diaz is the reigning LFA middleweight champion, having claimed the vacant title with a first-round stoppage win over Bruno Assis in March. Coached by Chad “The Savage” George, Diaz sports a 7-1 record overall, having earned all his wins inside the distance, and enters Tuesday’s contest on a five-fight winning streak.

DWCS SHOWCASES: Maycee Barber | Andre Muniz | Marina Rodriguez | Taila Santos | Sean O'Malley | Jamahal Hill

Pyfer appeared on Season 4 of DWCS, suffering a gnarly arm injury in a bout against Dustin Stoltzfus that ended his night prematurely. He finally returned to action last December, collecting a second-round stoppage win over Austin Trotman under the CFFC banner, and will look to make the most of his second chance here.

Anton Turkalj vs Acacio Dos Santos

Anton Turkalj vs Acacio Dos Santos Preview | DWCS Season 6 Week 1
Anton Turkalj vs Acacio Dos Santos Preview | DWCS Season 6 Week 1

Light heavyweights occupy the middle of this week’s season premiere, as Anton Turkalj faces off with Acacio Dos Santos.

Turkalj is a 26-year-old Swedish talent with an unblemished record (7-0) and a tremendous nickname, “The Pleasure Man.” He’s faced limited competition during his ascent, but has dominated the whole way through, finishing each of his seven fights inside the distance.

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The 30-year-old Dos Santos is the most experienced competitor on this week’s card, boasting a 14-4 record that includes splitting a pair of fights with DWCS alum Marcos Brigagao. He had won eight straight before losing to Brigagao in the fall of 2021 but avenged that defeat with a unanimous decision triumph at the end of April.

Dennis Buzukja vs Kaleio Romero

Dennis Buzukja vs Kaleio Romero Preview | DWCS Season 6 Week 1
Dennis Buzukja vs Kaleio Romero Preview | DWCS Season 6 Week 1

The first of Tuesday’s tandem featherweight contests features Longo and Weidman MMA product Dennis Buzukja returning to Las Vegas to take on Team Alpha Male’s Kaleio Romero.

Buzukja appeared on Season 4, dropping a unanimous decision to Melsik Baghdasaryan. Since then, the 24-year-old Staten Island native has posted a trio of victories, including a pair of wins under the Ring of Combat shingle. Now 7-2 for his career, “The Great” will get the first shot to be the first returning fighter to make good on their second opportunity to break onto the roster.

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A Sacramento native with a wrestling background, Romero fits the Team Alpha Male prototype to a tee. After making six appearances in his first two years as a pro, the 26-year-old Romero enters this one having last fought more than a year ago when he scored a first-round stoppage win over Andy Perez on a Combate Global show.

Alessandro Costa vs. Juan Andres Luna

Season 6 gets underway in the flyweight division, as Alessandro Costa and Juan Andres Luna square off in the opener.

The reigning Lux Fight League flyweight titleholder, Costa won the belt in September 2020 and successfully defended it twice last year, pushing his winning streak to five in the process. He’s shown good finishing abilities throughout his career, which isn’t always the case in the lighter weight classes, so it will be interesting to see if that carries over into his appearance at the UFC APEX on Tuesday.

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Unbeaten in his first dozen professional appearances, Luna earned his most recent victory by calf slicer, and has a 66 percent finishing rate. He won gold under the Fusion FC banner, but hasn’t faced particularly daunting competition to this point, which makes Tuesday’s tussle with Costa an intriguing litmus test for the undefeated 26-year-old from Ecuador.