The sixth season of Dana White’s Contender Series reaches its seventh card tonight, as Dana White’s Contender Series 53 goes down live from the UFC Apex with ten more fighters looking for their chance at the UFC.
The main event is a rematch between Brazilian light heavyweights Rodolfo Bellato and Vitor Petrino. The 25 year old “Icao” Petrino scored a first-round knockout victory over “Trator” Bellato in his professional debut in 2019, and has not looked back since. Most recently, he picked up a win over former UFC contender Gadzhimurad Antigulov at UAE Warriors 22. After dropping to 5-1 following his loss to Petrino, Bellato has gotten back on track, picking up three first-round stoppages, with the two most recent coming with the LFA.
One of the main features of the night is the Bonfim brothers. Both Gabriel Bonfim and Ismael Bonfim will join brothers Orion Cosce and Louis Cosce as the only siblings to compete on the show on the same night. Older brother “Marreta” Ismael is a 17-3 26 year old lightweight and has won 11 in a row, while younger brother “Marretinha” Gabriel is a 12-0 25 year old welterweight who has yet to see the judges’ scorecards. Both most recently competed at LFA 126, with Gabriel picking up the promotion’s welterweight championship. Ismael is set to face 28-3 Azerbaijani Fight Nights Global and AMC Fight Nights veteran Nariman Abbasov, while Gabriel will take on fellow undefeated LFA fighter Trey Waters, who comes into the fight on short notice but with a penchant for finishing fights.
At heavyweight, former Penn State wrestling standout Jimmy Lawson will face Virgin Islands native Karl Williams at heavyweight. After losing to current Bellator contender Said Sowma in his professional debut, Lawson has rattled off four TKO wins in a row, including his last two coming with the LFA. Normally a light heavyweight, Williams steps in on around a week’s notice having fought on the PFL Challenger Series, iKON FC, and XMMA all this year, winning each fight to bring his record to 6-1.
The only women’s fight of the night will kick off the card in a flyweight battle between Czechia and Brazil. Tereza Bleda of Czechia is undefeated in 13 fights across her amateur and professional career, including her first five professional fights under the Central European-based OKTAGON promotion. Brazil’s Nayara Maia is also undefeated as a professional at 7-0-1, mostly fighting in one of the top Brazilian promotions, Jungle Fight, and Mexican promotion Budo Sento Championship.
MMA Sucka has fight fans covered with Dana White’s Contender Series 53 results, with the card kicking off at 8pm ET/5pm PT on ESPN+.
Dana White’s Contender Series 53 Results
Vitor Petrino def. Rodolfo Bellato via KO (Left Hook) at 3:36 of Round 2
Gabriel Bonfim def. Trey Waters via Submission (Von Flue Choke) at 4:13 of Round 1
Karl Williams def. Jimmy Lawson via Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Ismael Bonfim def. Nariman Abbasov via Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)
Tereza Bleda def. Nayara Maia via Unanimous Decision (30-26, 30-26, 30-26)