Week 7 of Dana White’s Tuesday Night Contender Series airs on UFC Fight Pass beginning at 7PM CT. Below is a week by week listing of the fighters White has chosen up until now.
Week 1: Kurt Holobaugh and Boston Salmon
Week 2: Sean O’Malley
Week 3: Karl Roberson and Geoff Neal
Week 4: Brandon Davis and Julian Marquez
Week 5: Alex Perez and Michael Rodriguez
Week 6: Grant Dawson and Charles Byrd
Who will Dana White choose this week? Let’s take a look at the fighters and the match-ups.
Anton Berzin (5-1) vs. Kennedy Nzechukwu (2-0) – Light Heavyweight 205 lbs.
Anton Berzin enters his fight on Tuesday riding a four-fight win streak. His most recent victory came at CFFC 65 where he finished Jamelle Jones in the second round. All five of Berzin’s pro wins have ended inside the distance. He has one win by KO/TKO to go along with four by submission. The twenty-seven year old competed in Season 19 of The Ultimate Fighter. Berzin defeated Cody Mumma in an elimination fight, but lost to Patrick Walsh in the quarterfinals. Berzin fights out of Rocco Mixed Martial Arts and has fought for the following promotions, Xtreme Caged Combat, Locked in the Cage (LITC), Cage Fury Fighting Championships (CFFC) and Classic Entertainment and Sports (CES).
Kennedy Nzechukwu is 2-0 in his young MMA career. He has one win via Unanimous Decision and one by TKO. Both of his pro fights were under Back Alley Promotions. His most recent victory for the promotion occurred at XKO – Xtreme Knockout 34 where he decisioned Thai Walwwyn.
Steven Petersen (15-5) vs. Benito Lopez (7-0) – Featherweight 145 lbs.
At 27 years of age, Steven Peterson already has twenty professional fights under his belt. He has fought for multiple promotions including, Texas Cage Fighting (TCF), Bellator Fighting Championships (BFC), Back Alley Promotions, Legacy Fighting Championship – Texas (LFC) and Legacy Fighting Alliance (LFA). Peterson is 1-1 in his last two fights. His last fight occurred at LFA 16 where he submitted Ryan Hollis in the second round. Peterson has four KO/TKOs and seven submissions in his fifteen pro wins.
Benito Lopez has yet to taste defeat in his mixed martial arts career. He went 4-0 as an amateur and is now sitting at 7-0 as a professional fighter. His first fight as a pro was a Unanimous Decision victory over Oscar Ramirez on the preliminary card of Bellator 115. The twenty-three old boasts three wins by knockout to go along with two via submission in his seven pro victories. The Team Alpha Male product has fought for Bellator MMA, West Coast Fighting Championship (WFC), International Fighting Championship (IFC) and King of the Cage (KOTC).
Joby Sanchez (9-2) vs. JP Buys (4-1) – Flyweight 125 lbs.
After starting his career winning his first six fights on the regional circuit, Joby Sanchez got his opportunity to fight in the UFC. His first fight was against Wilson Reis at UFC Fight Night 49 where he lost by decision. Sanchez returned at UFC Fight Night 59 where he won a split decision over Tateki Matsuda. His last fight under the UFC banner came at The Ultimate Fighter 22 Finale where he was stopped in the second round by Geane Herrera. After that loss, Sanchez returned to the regional circuit where he won his last two fights. Fans might remember in week one of the show Sanchez beat Manny Vazquez by Unanimous Decision. However, Dana White did not award him with a UFC contract. Sanchez is the second fighter to get another chance to earn a contract on the show. The twenty-six year old Jackson-Wink product has three wins by KO/TKO to go along with four submissions in nine career wins.
JP Buys enters Tuesday’s fight riding a three fight winning streak. His last victory came at EFC 54 where he subbed Baldwin Mdlalose in the first round. All five of the nineteen year olds fights are under the Extreme Fighting Championship – Africa banner. In his four victories, three are by way of submission to go along with one knockout. Fighting out of Fight Fit Militia, Buys has yet to see the third round.
Mark Cherico (11-1) vs. Mike Santiago (18-9) – Featherweight 145 lbs.
Ever since losing to Brian Kelleher at Pinnacle FC 9, Mark Cherico has rattled off four straight victories. His most recent win occurred at Pinnacle FC 15 where he TKO’d Antonio Castillo due to injury. The thirty-one year old has three wins by KO/TKO and five by submission in eleven pro wins. Nine of Cherico’s professional fights have been under the Pinnacle Fighting Championships (Pinnacle FC) banner. He also fought for North American Allied Fight Series (NAAFS), Caged Power and Gladiators of the Cage (GOTC).
With twenty-seven professional fights under his belt, Mike Santiago has the most experience of any fighter on Tuesday’s show. Santiago also comes into Tuesday night’s fight with a ton of confidence having won his last eight bouts. His latest fight was at RFA 39 where he finished Luis Saldana in the third round. Fighting out of Top Notch Fitness, Santiago boasts nine submissions and five knockouts in his eighteen career pro victories. The twenty-eight year old has fought for multiple promotions including, Jake the Snake Promotions, Xtreme Fighting Organization, (XFO), Rukus Entertainment, Hoosier Fight Club (Hoosier FC), Chicago Cagefighting Championship (CCC), North American Fighting Championship (NAFC), Xtreme Fighting Events (XFE), Pure MMA LLC, Xtreme Gladiator Challenge, Maxximo Fighting Championship (MAXX FC), Ring of Combat (ROC), MMA Xplosion, American Predator Fighting Championships (APFC) and Resurrection Fighting Alliance (RFA).
Nick Urso (10-3, 1 NC) vs. Jordan Espinosa (10-5, 1 NC) – Flyweight 125 lbs.
Nick Urso is 1-1 in his last two fights. His most recent fight was at LFA 10 where he took a Split Decision over Brandon Royval. Urso has faced some quality opponents including Ray Borg whom he lost to by submission at LFC 30 back in April of 2014. Half of the thirty-one year old’s ten pro wins went to the judge’s scorecards. The Jackson-Wink MMA product has fought for many different promotions including Too Tuff (TT), Jackson’s MMA Series (JMMAS), Rumble on the Ridge (ROTR), Mescalero Warrior Challenge (MWC), Hard Knocks Fighting Championship (HKFC), Red Rock Rumble (RRR), Frequez Productions, Legacy Fighting Championship – Texas (LFC), Resurrection Fighting Alliance (RFA), Top Shelf Entertainment (TSE) and Legacy Fighting Alliance (LFA).
Jordan Espinosa is 1-1 in his last two fights. Most recently he beat Bobby Escalante by submission at GKO 9. In the twenty-seven year old’s ten pro wins, six are by submission to go along with one KO/TKO. The promotions Espinosa have fought under include, Golden Lotus Productions, Dollar D Promotions, Rocktagon MMA, Xtreme Fighting Championships (XFC), Gladiators of the Cage, Classic Entertainment and Sports (CES), Bluegrass Brawl (BB), Turf Wars Extreme Fighting (TWEF), Legacy Fighting Championship – Texas (LFC), PA Cage Fight (PACF), Jackson’s MMA Series (JMMAS), New League Fights, Top Shelf entertainment (TSE) and Global Knockout (GKO).
Enjoy the fights!
NOW CHECK OUT LAST WEEK’S PREVIEW: Dana White’s Tuesday Night Contender Series Week 6 Preview: Grocke breaks down all five fights