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Week 7 of Dana White’s Contender Series could be the Night of The Living Dogs. There are a lot of intriguing matchups and a few of them with underdogs that could cash in for you big time.
-200 Christian Rodriguez (5-0: 3 KOs, 2 SUBs) vs. +160 Reyes Cortez Jr. (5-1: 4 KOs)
The night’s main event could be a car crash in slow motion. Rodriguez has all the skills, experience and team support to be a great fighter in the UFC. His opponent Cortez Jr. has talent, but is lacking formidable competition in his prior fights. Cortez Jr. has beautiful striking technique with fluid footwork and heavy hands when he plants and throws. Of course, Cortez Jr. has the capability to land a well-timed punch; but I think Rodriguez and co. will be wise to their opponent’s biggest attribute and intelligently make it uncomfortable for Cortez Jr. en route to submission or decision.
Selection: Rodriguez via Submission /U 1.5 rounds
-500 Martin Buday (8-1: 6 KOs, 1 SUB) vs. +350 Lorenzo Hood (12-4: 12 KOs)
Time for the big boys. What Buday may be lacking in speed and explosiveness he makes up for in size and boxing skills. This fight is a tree versus a pickup truck. Buday is a stationary tree, but how big of a tree is he? We will see because Hood is not only big but also powerful. He is everything Buday is not: fast, dynamic and impatient. I think the pickup truck has a hemi and will take out the tree no matter how tall or big Buday is. Look for Hood to rush in and land a huge punch and continue his 100% finish rate.
Selection: Hood via Knockout /U 1.5 rounds
-300 Jake Hadley (7-0: 2 KOs, 3 SUBs) vs. +230 Mitch Raposo (5-0: 1 KO, 2 SUBs)
This is my fight of the night candidate here. Two scrappy bantamweights looking to keep their perfect records intact. If you remember, Raposo was one of the most out-spoken fighters on The Ultimate Fighter reality show earlier this year, but he couldn’t back up his talk as he fell short to the wrestling-based Liudvik Sholinian during the show. Now, the Massachusetts native gets a chance to redeem himself and punch his ticket into the UFC against a worthy opponent in Hadley. Coming from across the pond, Hadley has fought his last three matches for top organizations, Cage Warriors and Bellator MMA. He has a ferocity about him that will be hard for Raposo to match. Both fighters are well-rounded and have great gas tanks, but what’s most appealing is the dog inside both of them. I think this fight is going to look like a dust cloud from a cartoon that ends with the Raposo getting his hand raised.
Selection: Hadley via Decision
-130 Chris Duncan (7-0: 6 KOs) vs. +105 Viacheslav Borshchev (4-1: 3 KOs)
Duncan will be trying to make his DWCS debut once again. The undefeated fighter came in shape and ready to rock n’ roll a few weeks ago. I expect his mindset to be even sharper as the UFC does a good job turning around fighters who had a fight fall out because of reasons outside of injuries. Duncan, a former fighter for Bellator MMA, is a well-rounded mixed martial artist who can roll with whatever direction the fight goes. Similar to his originally scheduled opponent, Duncan is fighting a lanky striker in Borshchev who’s now a step up in competition because he trains at an elite MMA gym: Team Alpha Male. It’s a tougher test, but I believe Duncan still gets the job done.
Selection: Duncan via Decision
-290 Maria Silva (6-0: 3 KOs, 2 SUBs) vs. +220 Kathryn Paprocki (3-1: 1 SUB)
First off, Paprocki is an absolute savage! Go watch her last fight from LFA 108. It was not only a blood bath, but she showed a lot of heart, guts and the presence of mind to be as technical as she was in an absolute war! Paprocki will have her work cut out for her as she’s facing Silva who has an extensive kickboxing background. As we saw over the weekend, if a striking specialist (Marina Rodriguez) can piece together other parts of her game to close any holes, she can be dominant. Unlike this past Saturday though, Silva won’t be facing a former world jiu-jitsu champion. Paprocki is good in all areas but her biggest attribute is her heart. I think Paprocki has enough grappling skill to win and potentially dominate at least one facet of the fight.
Selection: Paprocki via Submission /U 1.5 rounds
Stay locked right here for more combat sports action this week headed by Bellator MMA and UFC!
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