Week four of Dana White’s Contender Series takes place tonight with five bouts. Ten fighters will be looking to score themselves UFC contracts, and MMA Sucka will be providing live updates of the card.
Dana White’s Contender Series 40 – Main Event
The main event of the right will take place in the middleweight division. Hashem Arkhagha, 6-0, will be taking on the 5-0 AJ Dobson. Dobson comes into this fight the fourth-ranked middleweight in Ohio, according to Tapology, while Arkhagha comes into the fight the 27th-ranked middleweight in the Middle East. These fighters combine for a total of eight finishes out of their ten fights. Both men are in the prime of their careers, with Dobson being 29 years old and Arkhagha being 32 years old, and are in prime position to win a UFC contract with an impressive win tonight.
Dana White’s Contender Series 40 – Co-Main Event
The co-main event of the evening will feature undefeated Michael Morales taking on Kazakhstan’s own Nikolay Veretennikov. Veretennikov will come into this fight finishing Anthony Ivy at Fury FC 46 back in May. Seven of his nine wins are by knockout and he is currently on an eight-fight win streak. He will be fighting the 21-year-old phenom Michael Morales, who has finished ten of his 11 wins, with nine of those wins by knockout and one by submission.
Dana White’s Contender Series 40 – Rest Of The Card
In the featured bout of the evening, Steven Nguyen will be fighting Theo Rlayang. Nguyen lost his first Contender Series fight back in 2019 via TKO to Aalon Cruz. Since then, he has gone on to knockout Jorge Juarez at LFA 100 in February. Rlayang has finished four of his five wins, with three of those wins being TKOs and one of them being a submission victory.
Kleydson Rodrigues will be taking on Santo Curatolo in a flyweight bout at Dana White’s Contender Series 40. Curatolo has never been to a decision. In fact, he has never had a professional fight make it out of the second round. His only loss came at the hands of Alberto Trujillo at CFFC 87. Rodrigues will come into the fight finishing all but one of his wins. His only loss comes in his second professional fight with Rodrigo Melonio.
The opening fight of the night will be Jacob Rosales taking on Victor Martinez. Rosales had an appearance on the Contender Series in 2019, where he was knockout out by Jonathan Pearce. Since then, he is 2-1 in LFA. Overall, he has a professional record of 13-6, with four of his six losses being decisions. Martinez will come into this fight on a six-fight win streak. He has a professional record of 12-4 with eight of his 12 wins being knockouts.
Dana White’s Contender Series 40 – Contract Winners
Martinez, Rodrigues, Morales , Dobson
Dana White gave out four UFC contracts on Tuesday night. The winners were Victor Martinez, Kleydson Rodrigues, Michael Morales, and AJ Dobson.
Dana White’s Contender Series 40 Results
Follow along with MMASucka as we provide you with Dana White’s Contender Series 39 Results throughout the card as well as a recap after each fight.
MAIN CARD (ESPN+ – 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT)
AJ Dobson def. Hashem Arkhagha via submission (inverted rear-naked choke) at 4:21 in the first round
This fight was an absolute war from start to finish. AJ Dobson landed some big shots on the feet. Finally landing some heavy ground and pound with the Goldfather of Ground and Pound, Mark Coleman in his corner. Dobson finished the fight with an inverted rear naked choke in the final minute of the first round.
Michael Morales def. Nikolay Veretennikov via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-29, 30-27)
To much surprise, Morales controlled the grappling while Veretennikov controlled the striking in the first round. Morales was having a hard time landing his jab early and Veretennikov landed some good kicks. Veretennikov was in trouble at the end of the second round. Morales was just a few more unanswered shots away from finishing the fight.
Morales started to get loose in the third and final round. He started to showboat a little bit and was dominating the striking. He ever went for a takedown and landed some good ground and pound towards the end of the round.
Steven Nguyen def. Theo Rlayang via unanimous decision (29-27, 29-27, 30-26)
Nguyen was in control for most of the first round. Rlayang comes into this fight with a huge reach disadvantage. He landed some good power shots but failed to get on the inside in the first round.
Rlayang tried to mix in some takedowns in the second round. Although he wasn’t able to do much with the takedowns and ultimately got outclassed for the entire round. The third round was full of drama with eye pokes. A point was even taken from Rlayang late in the round.
Kleydson Rodrigues def. Santo Curatolo via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Rodrigues stared the fight very fast, almost doubling the strikes Curatolo threw in the first round. Rodrigues keeps the pressure in the second round. Landing a lot of leg kicks but unfortunately landing a groin shot on Curatolo towards the end of round two. In the end, Curatolo landed almost the same amount of head strikes as Rodrigues. The difference was, Rodrigues ate Curatolo alive with body shots and leg kicks.
Victor Martinez def. Jacob Rosales via unanimous decision
Martinez’s 144 significant strikes landed tonight are a new single-fight DWCS lightweight record. Breaking Jonathan Pearce’s record of 142.