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The successful, and now yearly, MMA summer event known as Dana White’s Tuesday Night Contender Series (DWCS) returns for its fifth installment of raw and unfiltered fighting. Names like Maycee Barber, Greg Hardy, Johnny Walker and Sean O’Malley are just a few fighters that have made their entrance into UFC from the DWCS platform. For fight fans that are unfamiliar with the DWCS format, Dana White believes incentive is the greatest motivation for fan-friendly performances in the cage, so even if a fighter wins their bout, it doesn’t necessarily mean they get a contract with the UFC. So, fighters have to not only win but put on an unforgettable performance that gets them a contract to the big show – pretty wild concept, huh? It’s a must watch for any fight fan.
-490 Azamat Murzakanov (9-0) vs. +360 Matheus Scheffel (14-6), Light-Heavyweight
Dana White and the UFC matchmaking team both know exactly what they’re doing by booking Murzakanov vs. Scheffel as the first main event for the season premiere. Seriously, this fight is a collision of some powerful punchers. Scheffel possesses a strong left hook while Murzakanov owns a huge cross. Simply put, the great equalizer to a cross is a hook, and in a fight between two guys that live by the sword and die by the sword, it’s likely this fight will be decided by a knockout. In a coinflip firefight, it's worth it to throw some bones on the pretty solid Money Line in favor of Scheffel.
Selection: Matheus Scheffel
-110 Diego Lopes (19-3) vs. -110 Joanderson Brito (11-2-1), Featherweight
In the co-main event, two Brazilians square off who are looking to make a splash and get injected into the shark tank known as the UFC’s featherweight division. Lopes is a tall, gangly fighter who may not use his body to its full potential on his feet, but when the fight hits the floor he’s octopus-like with his suffocating grappling abilities. On the flipside, Brito comes from a less graceful martial arts background. Brito is a slugging striker that brings the fight to his opponents and tries to end their night’s violently. It should be a fun clash of styles. If Lopes can survive the early onslaught, I think he sails smoothly to a victory.
Selection: Diego Lopes
-140 Victor Altamirano (9-1) vs. +120 Carlos Candelario (8-0), Flyweight
Altamirano vs. Candelario has an outside variable that needs to be addressed. Candelario, a DWCS season 1 alum, is literally hot off a victory, fighting just over three weeks ago. Candelario is getting the short notice opportunity because Altamirano’s first opponent had to pull out. While adrenaline will carry Candelario through the fight, the bumps and bruises earned in his last fight may linger against the fresher Altamirano. Candelario is a pure boxer with an extensive background in the sweet science that’s being countered by the more well-rounded Altamirano. Don't count Candelario out, the New England native is tough as nails and realizes these types of opportunities don't come around three times. Take the risk (if you want) and throw a few dollars on Candelario.
Selection: Carlos Candelario
-145 A.J. Fletcher (8-0) vs. +125 Leonardo Damiani (10-2-1), Welterweight
A.J. Fletcher has power. Leonardo Damiani has power. A.J. Fletcher is explosive. Leonardo Damiani is explosive. So who wins? I’m going to go with Fletcher. The Louisiana native is built like a brick house, and it’s going to take a lot to blow him down. If Damiani somehow gets past Fletcher, he’d be immediately looked at as one of the best Italian-born MMA fighters in the world. While Marvin Vettori just fought for a title and is the biggest flag bearer for Italian MMA, the pool of Italian fighters is very shallow. I’m going with Fletcher to put on a showcase tonight.
Selection: A.J. Fletcher
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