For season 7, week 5 of the DWCS, we got to see another night with 100% contract winners amongst those who had their hands raised. But, there was certainly some controversy on this card, primarily one of the worst TKO stoppages we've seen in recent memory. Regardless, Dana is doing his best to do right by these fighters and move forward.
So, who won contracts on tonight's episode of Dana White's Contender Series? Let's jump into it and tell you about these fights as well. Here are all of the contract winners from tonight's action.
DWCS Week 5: Brendson Ribeiro Upsets Lopes
What a fight this was for as long as it lasted! Lopes landed well himself, but it was apparent right away that Brendson Ribeiro was the sharper striker and the harder hitter. It's worth mentioning that Ribeiro landed shots that would've taken out a telephone pole but Lopes ate them and marched forward.
That durability was there, but Lopes is still a human. He ate a shot that put him down and this stoppage was a very fair one, unlike one that we'll get to here in a bit. Season 7 of Dana White's Contender Series has had some great main events, this being one of the best.
An underdog win done in spectacular fashion sounds like the ingredients needed to get a UFC contract. And, well, it worked! Dana White was very impressed with this showing and we've got some new blood in the light heavyweight division.
Dana White's Contender Series Co-Main Event: Serhiy Sidey Wins – Controversy Included
Having waited for the night to blow over and re-watching this, it's just as infuriating as it was when it initially happened. Sidey was able to land a beautiful shot and put his opponent down. Ramon Tavares had his wits about him, but the referee didn't. The knockdown wasn't terrible looking, but the ref felt inclined to jump right in and stop the action anyway.
So, was the stoppage bad? Yes, it was terrible, actually. What really sucks about a stoppage like this is it doesn't do right by either fighter; Sidey's win is overshadowed by the referee making a mistake, and now Tavares has a TKO loss on his record without being given the chance to do what his job title entails – fight.
But, Sidey did all he could and he did it well. White wasn't too happy about the stoppage, but that's not on the fighter. This was a high-action fight for as long as it lasted. Ultimately, Serhiy got the contract and Dana White announced that Tavares will get another shot on the Contender Series.
Dylan Budka Wins a Luckluster Fight – Secures Contract Anyways
The commentary booth said it, Dana White said it and really, we were all thinking it — this fight sucked. But, this wasn't really the fault of Budka. It's season 7 of the DWCS, fighters should know by now that winning isn't enough; you've got to go out there and impress while still staying true to a smart style of fighting.
It's not a “casual take” to say that just leaning on an opponent is boring, let alone to assume it's not enough to win a contract. Budka was able to grind out the win and made the fight about as entertaining as it could be given the stylistic matchup. Additionally, he fought just two weeks ago at heavyweight.
This was a fight worth criticizing, but it shows that a great fight really does need two willing dance partners. Chad Hanekom is still a great fighter and maybe something was off last night; if he's to regroup, think of a new game plan and perform, then this guy has what it takes to be in the UFC as well.
DWCS: Two More Contracts Awarded
We had some absolute bangers, specifically Dione Silva Barbosa de Lima. She went out there and secured an armbar victory, leaving no doubt in the UFC president's mind that this is a talent that the UFC cannot pass up. After that fight, we got to see an absolute slugfest between Jean Silva and Kevin Vallejos.
Dana White acknowledged the nerves that fighters can feel going into this, one of the most high-intensity job interviews there is. Silva won and got the contract, but by the way Dana was talking, I'd bet we'll be seeing something more from Vallejos in the near future.