Dana White's Contender Series

MMASucka’s Contender Series 53 Staff Picks

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MMASucka staff picks are locked in for the night of fights ahead.

Dana White’s Contender Series 53 takes place in just a few short hours tonight, September 6th from the UFC Apex in Las Vegas, Nevada. Five fights make up the card beginning at 8:00pm ET (5:00pm PT) live for subscribers on ESPN+.

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Results from Dana White’s Contender Series 53 will be available here at MMASucka.

The Fights

Season six of Dana White’s Contender Series has reached week seven of its ten total events in 2022. Ten fighters, all on weight, will look for their chance at a promotional contract with the Ultimate Fighting Championship all looking to impress president Dana White.

In the featured main event of the night, former foes Rodolfo Bellato and Vitor Petrino rematch in the light heavyweight division. The still-undefeated Petrino secured a 25-second knockout in their May of 2019 fight giving Bellato his only defeat to date.

Brazilian brothers Gabriel Bonfim and Ismael Bonfim become the first sibling duo to compete in the Contender Series as both look to impress in hopes of a UFC contract. Gabriel will take on the rising undefeated prospect Trey Waters from Jacksonville, Florida as Ismael squares off against AMC Fight Nights Global lightweight champion and 31-fight veteran Nariman Abbasov.

Also competing on the card includes American Top Team Atlanta’s Karl Williams against former Penn State wrestler Jimmy Lawson in the heavyweight division as well as OKTAGON MMA champion Tereza Bleda squaring off with Nova Uniao’s Nayara Maia opening the show at flyweight. See our staff picks for these fights at Dana White’s Contender Series 53 further below.

Staff Picks

Staff picks in 2022 will follow the same set of rules from the 2021 season. Throughout the calendar year, staff picks will be composed of main card fights from both UFC and Bellator events. Main card fights and selected preliminary fights will be included for PFL MMA. Dana White’s Contender Series will be composed of the entire fight card.

The WINNER of staff picks in 2022 will have a choice between receiving a custom-made championship belt from ProAmBelts or a chain from Championship Chains. A winner is determined simply by the individual correctly picking the most victorious fighters at the year’s end. Nate Freeman secured his first victory with MMASucka in 2021 with a compiled record 243-136.

Find out below who the staff are picking to win at Dana White’s Contender Series 53.

Staff Records after Dana White’s Contender Series 52:

1. Nate Freeman: 182-97
2. Wesley Riddle: 180-99
3. Frazer Krohn: 178-101
4. Michael DeSantis: 176-103
5. William Dong: 173-106
6. Jeremy Brand: 167-106
7. Chris Presnell: 160-113
8. Andrew Benjamin: 156-117
9. Julio Monteros Jr.: 154-85
10. Tim Wheaton: 148-86
11. Mike Lynch: 123-74
12. Brian Knight: 115-81
13. Brandon Joint: 111-72
14. Jack Goodwillie: 109-50
15. Ash Camyab: 105-77
16. Coby Weinsier: 87-47
17. Chinyere Okafor: 72-38
18. Jacek Okninski: 70-58
19. Roemello Reyes: 40-22
20. Matt Bricker: 24-22
21. Ben Jamieson: 20-18
22. Joe Porter: 11-5

*Note – not all staff pick for every event*
*Note – UFC Fight Night 209 picks will be added to the above records NEXT weekend*


Tereza Bleda (5-0), -625
vs.
Nayara Maia (7-0-1), +470

Women’s Flyweight Division
– 125 lbs. –

Jeremy Brand: Bleda via Round 2 TKO
Wesley Riddle: Bleda via Unanimous Decision
Michael DeSantis: Bleda via Unanimous Decision
Andrew Benjamin: Maia via Unanimous Decision
Frazer Krohn: Bleda via Round 3 SUB
Nate Freeman: Bleda via Round 2 TKO
Julio Monteros Jr.: Bleda via Round 2 SUB
Roemello Reyes: Bleda via Round 1 TKO

Staff picking Bleda: 7
Staff picking Maia: 1


Ismael Bonfim (17-3), -110
vs.
Nariman Abbasov (28-3), -110

Lightweight Division
– 155 lbs. –

Jeremy Brand: Bonfim via Unanimous Decision
Wesley Riddle: Abbasov via Split Decision
Michael DeSantis: Abbasov via Round 2 TKO
Andrew Benjamin: Abbasov via Unanimous Decision
Frazer Krohn: Bonfim via Unanimous Decision
Nate Freeman: Abbasov via Split Decision
Julio Monteros Jr.: Bonfim via Unanimous Decision
Roemello Reyes: Bonfim via Round 3 TKO

Staff picking Bonfim: 4
Staff picking Abbasov: 4


Karl Williams (6-1), +180
vs.
Jimmy Lawson (4-1), -210

Heavyweight Division
– 265 lbs. –

Jeremy Brand: Lawson via Unanimous Decision
Wesley Riddle: Lawson via Round 1 TKO
Michael DeSantis: Lawson via Round 1 TKO
Andrew Benjamin: Lawson via Unanimous Decision
Frazer Krohn: Lawson via Unanimous Decision
Nate Freeman: Lawson via Round 3 TKO
Julio Monteros Jr.: Lawson via Round 2 TKO
Roemello Reyes: Lawson via Round 1 TKO

Staff picking Williams: 0
Staff picking Lawson: 8


Gabriel Bonfim (12-0), -410
vs.
Trey Waters (6-0), +330

Welterweight Co-Main Event
– 170 lbs. –

Jeremy Brand: Bonfim via Round 2 TKO
Wesley Riddle: Bonfim via Round 1 SUB
Michael DeSantis: Bonfim via Round 1 SUB
Andrew Benjamin: Waters via Unanimous Decision
Frazer Krohn: Bonfim via Round 2 SUB
Nate Freeman: Bonfim via Round 1 TKO
Julio Monteros Jr.: Bonfim via Round 2 TKO
Roemello Reyes: Bonfim via Round 1 SUB

Staff picking Bonfim: 7
Staff picking Waters: 1


Rodolfo Bellato (8-1), +125
vs.
Vitor Petrino (6-0), -145

Light Heavyweight Main Event
– 205 lbs. –

Jeremy Brand: Petrino via Unanimous Decision
Wesley Riddle: Petrino via Split Decision
Michael DeSantis: Petrino via Round 2 TKO
Andrew Benjamin: Bellato via Unanimous Decision
Frazer Krohn: Bellato via Unanimous Decision
Nate Freeman: Petrino via Round 1 TKO
Julio Monteros Jr.: Bellato via Round 3 SUB
Roemello Reyes: Bellato via Round 1 SUB

Staff picking Bellato: 4
Staff picking Petrino: 4

*Fight odds from DraftKings*

DANA WHITE’S CONTENDER SERIES 53 FEATURED IMAGE:
Embed from Getty Images

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Wesley Riddle is a 25-year-old writer out of Harrisonburg, Virginia and a recent graduate from Roanoke College in Salem, Virginia, having obtained a Bachelor's Degree in Health and Physical Education. Watching the draw between Frankie Edgar and Gray Maynard from 2011 sparked his interest in the sport of mixed martial arts. He created "All That MMA" on Twitter, which came to birth in December of 2013. He would join with MMASucka in the later quarter of 2016. Some of Riddle's hobbies include music, playing golf, watching horror movies, and working with non-profit organizations throughout his community. You can follow him on Twitter at @AllThatMMA or @WesleyRiddleMMA, and on Instagram @WesleyRiddle.

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