After nine months, Dana White’s Contender Series is back as fighters look to prove to Dana White what they have got to earn a UFC contract as MMASucka provides Contender Series 37 results and recap throughout. When the night is over, at least one of the winners will earn a UFC contract.
Contender Series 37 Results – Main Event
The main event will feature a pair of light heavyweights as undefeated Azamat Murzakanov faces off against Matheus Scheffel. Murzakanov’s last two outings were under the Brave FC banner as he picked up back-to-back wins over Guto Inocente and Mohammad Fakhreddine. He defeated Inocente by unanimous decision and finished Fakhreddine by knockout. As for Scheffel, he holds a record of 14-6 with a 2-1 record in his last three fights with Future FC. The loss he suffered was a split decision loss to Acacio dos Santos. Following that, he won back to back fights over Marcelo Cruz, by UD, and Fabio Vasconcelos, by TKO.
Contender Series 37 Results – Rest of Card
Kicking off the fifth season of the Contender Series will be a welterweight matchup between AJ Fletcher and Leonardo Damiani. Fletcher is entering the fight with an 8-0 record as he enters this fight on a finishing streak of six in a row. His last fight was at AKA 14 where he submitted Ariel Juarez with a rear-naked choke in the first round.
Damiani will be entering the fight with a 10-2-1 record, winning his last four in a row. Similar to Fletcher, Damiani finishes fights as he holds only two decision wins. His last fight was a second-round submission win over Marco Saccaro at The Golden Cage 3.
Following the welterweight bout will be a flyweight fight between Victor Altamirano and Carlos Candelario. Altamirano brings in a record of 9-1 with his last three wins coming in a row. All three of those wins were under LFA as he picked up two decisions over Chris Ocon and Nate Smith, plus a triangle choke submission over Lloyd McKinney. In his most recent win, a unanimous decision over Smith, Altamirano won the vacant LFA flyweight title.
Candelario brings with him an undefeated record of 8-0 as well as experience on the Contender Series. He appeared in 2017, picking up a unanimous decision win, but ultimately failing to earn a contract. He has fought once since then, picking up a UD win over Miguel Restrepo at CES MMA 63.
The final fight before the main event will feature featherweights Diego Lopes and Joanderson Brito. Lopes holds a record of 19-3 as he enters the fight on a seven-fight win streak. His last five fights have been with the Lux Fight League as he has picked up three submission wins and two decision wins over that time. His most recent fight was against Masio Fullen as he submitted him in round three with an armbar.
Brito’s record entering this fight stands at 11-2-1. He has not lost since 2015 and he has won his last nine fights in a row. Among his 11 wins, he holds only one win by decision while the rest have been finishes. His last fight was at LFA 65 when he finished Jose Mariscal by knocking him out in 44 seconds.
Contender Series 37 Results – Contract Winners
Earning a UFC contract in season 5, episode 1:
AJ Fletcher, Victor Altamirano, Carlos Candelario, Joanderson Brito and Azamat Murzakanov
Follow along with MMASucka as we provide you with Contender Series 37 Results throughout the card as well as a recap after each fight.
MAIN CARD (ESPN+ – 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT)
Azamat Murzakanov def. Matheus Scheffel via TKO (Punches) at 3:00 of Round One
Recap: The first round began slowly as each fighter was throwing few shots, trying to find their range. Murzakanov seemed to start finding success with his striking first as he began landing some heavy shots. With just about two minutes left in the round, Murzakanov pressured Scheffel back to the fence where he landed the fight ending blows; a left hand followed by a right hook to put him down allowing him to land the fight ending ground and pound. With that big finish, it is likely Murzakanov will be joining Fletcher to be the only two earning contracts tonight.
Joanderson Brito def. Diego Lopes via Technical Unanimous Decision at 0:12 of Round Three (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
Recap: Brito quickly opened up the fight with a flying knee that missed but led into a takedown. Brito spent about three and a half minutes on top where he spent about half of that defending an armbar. With just over a minute left, the two were back on their feet and throwing heavy shots. As the round came to a close, it could have gone anyone’s way as Brito got the takedown and had top control but Lopes was attacking a submission from the bottom.
After about a minute on the feet in the second round, Lopes nearly got another submission as he locked up a tight guillotine. But Brito was easily able to escape from the choke as he was now on top, able to land ground and pound. Brito was landing some good shots before Lopes reversed the position after attempting a heel hook. However, Brito, seeming to have more left in the gas tank, was able to immediately get back on top. Brito finished the round on top, landing some heavy punches and elbows, but Lopes snuck in another submission attempt as he went for a kneebar in the closing seconds.
Following one significant strike landed by Lopes, round three opened up with Brito landing an eye poke after already being warned about his fingers being out in the second round. After inspection from the doctor, the fight was called off due to Lopes being unable to continue. As a result, Brito had one point taken away and the fight went to the scorecards.
Victor Altamirano def. Carlos Candelario via Unanimous Decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
Recap: In the first round, both fighters were finding their own success with their striking but it seemed like Altamirano was ultimately landing more. As Altamirano was landing more, Candelario landed three takedowns in the first round. He was unable to hold Altamirano down for very long on the first two takedowns but his third takedown lasted for the last minute or so of round one as he finished the round on top.
Altamirano did a better job in the first couple minutes of the second round defending the takedown but it was Candelario during that time being more active on the feet. With three minutes left in the round, Candelario got the fight to the ground again and held it there for about two minutes before Altamirano got back to his feet. Altamirano seemed to find his most success in the last minute, landing good shots against the fence and finishing the round with his own takedown.
After a close first two rounds, Altamirano came out in the last round with some urgency. He had the most success with his striking in this round as he landed more than Candelario by about twice as much and avoided being taken down until the final thirty seconds. Although Candelario landed multiple takedowns and had a lot of control time, Altamirano’s striking was the deciding factor as he landed more strikes in the last two rounds.
AJ Fletcher def. Leonardo Damiani via KO (Strikes) at 2:24 of Round One
Recap: In the beginning of the round, Damiani seemed to be having more success with his striking as he pressured Fletcher. At one point, he had him against the fence and landed a good combination forcing Fletcher to land a takedown. Damiani was soon able to get back up to his feet but Fletcher began finding his success now. After a short while back on the feet, as he backed Damiani up towards the cage, Fletcher landed a perfect flying knee to finish the fight. With a big first round finish like that, look for Fletcher to likely earn himself a UFC contract.
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