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Dana White’s Contender Series 2022: Week 6 Preview

by | Aug 18, 2022 | Artem MMA Analysis

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Dana White’s Contender Series 2022 Week 4 delivered with multiple KOs and two close decisions. All 5 fights were great and so 5 contracts were awarded to the 5 winners. Personally I am most excited to see the future of Esteban Ribovics, as well as Jose Johnson as his grappling has greatly improved. Hailey Cowan could make a run in the very shallow women’s bantamweight division, but I think she will struggle against good grapplers. Claudio Ribeiro could make something out of his KO power. Nazim Sadykhov put on a  good performance but with the state of the UFC lightweight division he has a tough road ahead to the rankings. No fault of his own, just a fact that the UFC lightweight division is filled with unbelievable talent. I already look forward to DWCS Week 6 in this article, as I wrote about DWCS Week 5 last week.

This article and the following weekly articles will preview the upcoming Dana White’s Contender Series cards. These previews will outline what each fighter does, and include a brief breakdown of each fighter. I will be posting early predictions here, but all my final predictions will be posted on my YouTube channel and my Instagram. The order of bouts as I write them will be based on the Tapology website bout order, so the bout order may different as my article below.

 

YUSAKU KINOSHITA (5-1) vs. JOSE HENRIQUE (5-0) – Welterweight

This is a very interesting fight between two very young fighters. YUSAKU KINOSHITA is 22 years old but he isn’t the youngest fighter in this bout. His opponent, JOSE HENRIQUE is only 19 years old. Standing at 6’5”, HENRIQUE previously has fought at middleweight. But even at 185lbs he has looked very tall and thin, which concerns me about how he will look at 170lbs. With that being said he is good in the clinch and uses his size well at distance, but is very hittable on the feet. KINOSHITA is a great prospect from Japan with power in his hands and a good grappling skillset. However his takedown defence isn’t great. This fight should take place mostly on the feet and considering how hittable HENRIQUE is, it’s hard not to see a KO from KINOSHITA. HENRIQUE has a good skill set but it isn’t polished enough to fight at the UFC level in my opinion. With time he could be something great with his size and his young age. I’m picking KINOSHITA to land with power and to score a knockout.

MATEJ PENAZ (6-0) vs. SEDRIQUES DUMAS (6-0) – Light Heavyweight

We are all aware of how unpredictable DWCS is, but I can guarantee you this: This fight is going to be incredible. Of all the fights on the Contender Series this year this is the one I am most excited for. Both of these guys are great kickboxers with an exciting style, but PENAZ brings a 23-3 kickboxing record, as well as GLORY Kickboxing experience to this bout. He is also a training partner of current UFC Light Heavyweight champion Jiri Prochazka. PENAZ made a transition to MMA  in 2020, where he competed in a tournament for Oktagon. This tournament is an MMA bout with limited grappling allowed – A perfect way for PENAZ to be introduced to MMA fights. Since then, he has fought increasingly better levels of competition and his transition to MMA has been smooth, as he has a perfect 6-0 record coming into this bout. His grappling is improving but in moments he can be controlled in the clinch and taken down. He exposes his back as he tries to stand up which could be a fight ending mistake against a competent grappler. SEDRIQUES DUMAS is a very exciting fighter, but he last fought at middleweight. DUMAS has a very marketable appearance, with dreads and tattoos on his face. He honestly looks like a modern rapper. He has great kickboxing that should make him competitive on the feet with PENAZ, but his advantage in this fight is his grappling. Prior to turning pro, DUMAS went 9-1 as an amateur. He also has one submission win as an amateur and one submission win as a pro. The path to victory is definitely there for DUMAS if he chooses to grapple with the less experienced PENAZ. This is a very difficult fight to predict as it could go either way. I am very eager to see what the odds are but I will very slightly favour MATEJ PENAZ in this matchup. 

RODRIGO LIDIO (12-2) vs. MATEUSZ REBECKI (15-1) – Lightweight

I said Penaz vs. Dumas was my most anticipated fight of DWCS 2022. This was number 2 on my list. Both of these guys are UFC level and both shouldn’t have had to fight on DWCS. MATEUSZ REBECKI is a Polish ADCC champion with 5 submissions on his record. The level of competition that he has fought is crazy as well. Of his wins, the combined record of his opponents is 152-52. His opponent RODRIGO LIDIO isn’t a guy to overlook either. LIDIO has some crazy knockout power in his hands. I’m expecting him to be a decent sized underdog, and there’s a chance he could cash considering how powerful of a striker he is. LIDIO has been easily taken down in the past, which creates a clear path to victory for REBECKI. REBECKI is the better grappler and as long as he doesn’t get caught he should earn himself a submission victory over LIDIO.

VIKTORIYA DUDAKOVA (5-0) vs. MARIA SILVA (8-0) – Strawweight

DUDAKOVA is the favourite to win on Tapology by the voters but I’m more impressed by MARIA SILVA. SILVA fought in the Contender Series last year and won over the short notice opponent Kathryn Paprocki. It is worth noting that Paprocki then became a contestant on The Ultimate Fighter Season 30. MARIA SILVA is well rounded with great striking and a grappling skillset as well. In this matchup, SILVA is definitely the more comfortable striker of the two. DUDAKOV is a 2019 IMMAF amatuer MMA champion, but since she’s turned pro her level of competition isn’t as good as the opponents SILVA is fighting. DUDAKOVA has a great grappling game but lacks the ability to get the fight to the ground. Most of the time she is getting takedowns from the clinch which is where SILVA is stronger. There’s a chance MARIA SILVA is an underdog when the betting odds come out, and she is the girl I’m picking to win.

ALEX MORGAN (11-4) vs. BLAKE BILDER (6-0) – Featherweight

This could be described as a striker vs. grappler matchup. MORGAN is the more technical striker, whereas BILDER is the more competent grappler. Although undefeated, BILDER has been dropped a couple of times in his career which is concerning. MORGAN is the more technical striker who picks his shots well even if he doesn’t throw a lot of volume. MORGAN has looked great in his last couple of fights against good competition. With that being said, BILDER hasn’t been tested against the same level of competition that MORGAN has. I will slightly favour MORGAN to win a decision on the feet but this fight is very tough to call. By the time I preview this card on YouTube my pick might have flipped to BILDER. 

Jacob Meikle

Contributing Analyst

Jacob Meikle, alias Artem MMA Analysis has closely followed the sport of MMA for years. In 2021 he started his own YouTube channel and has since uploaded multiple times per week. A big fan of MMA, Jacob covers the sport from regional shows to UFC and Bellator. With a passion for prospects, his channel and Instagram are sources for news about Dana White’s Contender Series and Road to UFC. He has hosted his own show on the We Want Picks YouTube Channel, where he broke down the 2022 Contender Series fight cards.

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