Dana White’s Contender Series, returns for the fourth time this year for the Tuesday, August 29 episode, which will see welterweights Carlo Prates and Mitch Ramirez vie for a UFC contract in the main event.
This week’s episode was supposed to feature Val Woodburn fighting Marco Tulio in the co-main event, but Woodburn was pulled from the fight to fill in on short notice to fight one of the biggest rising stars in MMA, Bo Nickal, at UFC 290. Tulio will instead fight Dutch striker Yousri Belgaroui.
#DWCS Week 4 tonight!
— Consensus Score (@ConsensusScore) August 29, 2023
This week’s episode of DWCS is set to get underway at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT, one hour later than the start time of the first two weeks this season, and can be streamed on ESPN+.
Prates vs. Ramirez
Brazil’s Carlos Prates is far and away the most experienced fighter on this week’s card with a professional record of 16-6. Whereas many Brazilian prospects to appear on DWCS have competed primarily in their home region against unproven competition, Prates does not have this problem. Rather, he fought for ONE FC in MMA in 2019, where he picked up two wins in three tries. He eventually made his way to LFA after defeating Charles Oliveira (no, not THAT Charles Oliveira) where he topped his record off with two more first-round finishes.
He will be getting a different kind of challenge in Mitch Ramirez, a 7-0 unbeaten who has competed in various American promotions, including LFA, Fierce Fighting Championship and XMMA. Ramirez fits the mold in what the UFC looks for in Contender Series fighters. He boasts a fan-friendly style that has resulted in finishes in six of his seven wins. He also went 5-0 as an amateur, and is thus slightly more experienced than even his record would indicate. Tuesday’s main event matchup will be a fan-friendly affair, regardless of which fighter is able to get their hand raised.
Tulio vs. Belgaroui
As previously mentioned, Marco Tulio was originally scheduled to fight Val Woodburn. He will now get an inherently different matchup in Yousri Belgaroui. The Brazilian is 8-1 and just recently made his LFA debut when he knocked out Well Oliveira in front of his home fans.
He now has a chance to break into the UFC against Belgaroui, who has spent most of his career competing in the UAE Warriors promotion. He has lost twice as a professional, both on the judges’ scorecards, but is coming off back-to-back wins and has a chance to compete on the biggest stage of his career, as well as a chance to set his career up for future prosperity. Four of the Dutchman’s five wins have come by way of knockout, so whether or not Tulio opts to stand with the European striker will be telling.
Vogel vs. Cuamba
It is well documented that Canada, a country home to the greatest MMA fighter of all time in Georges St-Pierre, is hurting for bankable UFC stars. Mateo Vogel will have a chance to breathe some life into Canadian MMA when he vies for a UFC contract against 6-1 Timmy Cuamba. Cuamba, who has competed in CFFC, has tasted defeat just once in his career when Ivan Tena submitted him with a rear naked choke.
Vogel, on the other hand, has lost twice but is yet to be finished. Rather, five of his eight wins have come by way of submission, so he is something of a submission artist himself. His bread and butter is getting the fight to the mat, but unlike Cuamba, Vogel has posted results against current UFC fighters. Vogel submitted Garrett Armfield back in 2021, but turned around to drop a unanimous decision to Da’Mon Blackshear in CFFC. He has since won three-straight, and will be looking for four against a talented young prospect in Cuamba.
Cole vs. Petersen
Chandler Cole and Thomas Petersen will be looking to give the UFC another heavyweight name to keep an eye on, and the name on the tip of everybody’s tongue after Tuesday night might just be the last man standing. Cole should be a name familiar to UFC fans as a cast member on the 30th season of The Ultimate Fighter. He was a member of Team Nunes, and came up short to Jordan Heiderman in the quarterfinals, a man who has since gone on to sign with the PFL and compete in the heavyweight postseason tournament.
Cole’s conditioning failed him against Heiderman, but he has since gone on to score three finishes: one in kickboxing, and two in MMA. As for Peterson, “The Train” is undersized for heavyweight at 6-foot-1, but uses an imposing wrestling game to get fights to the ground where he has finished each and every one of his eight wins. Perhaps even more special, the Spartan MMA product has competed almost exclusively in the LFA heavyweight division, even winning the belt before dropping it to Waldo Cortes-Acosta, a man who has since gone on to sign with the UFC himself.
Salvador vs. Oki
The European regional scene will be on full display when France’s Dylan Salvador meets Belgium’s Bolaji Oki at 155 pounds to open the show. The fight will be a striker vs. grappler affair in some respects, though Salvador loves to strike despite having four submissions on his record. Both fighters are largely unproven, but have flashed immense upside in their limited time in the cage.
Dana White’s Contender Series 60 Results
Carlos Prates def. Mitch Ramirez via Knockout (Punch) at 1:14 of Round 2
Marco Tulio def. Yousri Belgaroui via Unanimous Decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28)
Timmy Cuamba def. Mateo Vogel via Unanimous Decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
Thomas Petersen def. Chandler Cole via Submission (Kimura) at 1:08 of Round 2
Bolaji Oki def. Dylan Salvador via TKO (strikes) at 2:46 of Round 1