Dana White's Contender Series

Dana White’s Contender Series: Season 7, Week 5 Staff Picks

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Five cards down and five cards remain for a popular promotion with MMASucka staff picks.

Dana White’s Contender Series: Season 7, Week 5, also titled as Dana White’s Contender Series 61, has reached its halfway mark of the 2023 season and will take place later tonight, September 5th from the UFC Apex in Las Vegas. Fighters looking to secure a contract with the Ultimate Fighting Championship aim to impress UFC President Dana White and company beginning at 8:00pm ET (5:00pm PT) on ESPN+.

Stay tuned to MMASucka for live Dana White’s Contender Series: Season 7, Week 5 results.

Be sure to recap our staff picks from Saturday’s UFC Fight Night 226: Gane vs. Spivak event in Paris.

The Fights

Set for three rounds in the main card opener sees two rising talents of light heavyweight Brazilians Bruno Lopes and Brendson Ribeiro. Former LFA Light Heavyweight Champion Lopes makes his first appearance of the calendar year riding an undefeated streak of ten victories including a 2014 knockout of current UFC contender Gregory Rodrigues. His opponent, Ribeiro, also makes his year debut having closed 2022 with back-to-back knockouts in the first round as well as his capturing of Shooto Brazil’s Light Heavyweight Championship.

Bantamweights Serhiy Sidey and Ramon Taveras will clash in the co-main event. Reigning Battlefield Fight League Champion Sidey targets his sixth straight win since losing his one and only professional fight in February of 2020 to last week’s Contender Series competitor Mateo Vogel. Opponent Tavares, who recently claimed the Combat Night Pro Bantamweight title, aims for one less victory at five in-a-row.

Our third and final fight counted for picks this week sees 26-year-old Jean Silva get his biggest test to date against 21-year-old undefeated Samurai Fight House Champion Kevin Vallejos in the featherweight division.

Two fights were cancelled from tonight’s card. Middleweight Cam Rowston withdrew due to an undisclosed reason and was replaced by Dylan Budka to fight Chad Hanekom. Additionally, Corinne Laframboise was replaced by Dione Barbosa in the card opener against Rainn Guerrero after it was revealed she was pregnant. Due to these late changes, neither will be included in our picks for Dana White’s Contender Series 61.

DWCS Week 4 Contract Winners: Carlos Prates (welterweight), Thomas Petersen (heavyweight), Bolaji Oki (lightweight)

2023 Staff Picks

MMASucka staff picks are composed of five promotions: the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), Bellator MMA, ONE Championship, the Professional Fighters League (PFL), and Dana White’s Contender Series (DWCS). UFC and Bellator events feature picks from only main cards. PFL will feature select fights from the main and/or preliminary card while DWCS sees all fights counted from the event. ONE Championship returns to picks for the first time since 2020 and will feature only mixed martial arts (MMA) fights selected from cards with a minimum three matchups.

The WINNER of staff picks at the end of 2023, who picked the most victorious fighters, will have a choice between receiving a custom-made championship belt from ProAmBelts or a chain from Championship Chains. Staff picks in 2022 was won by Wesley Riddle with a record of 264-135.

Who have the MMASucka staff picking to win at Dana White’s Contender Series: Season 7: Week 5?

Staff Records after Dana White’s Contender Series – Season 7, Week 4:

Ben Jamieson: 211-109
Michael DeSantis: 208-112
Jeremy Brand: 202-118
Wesley Riddle: 201-119
Nate Freeman: 201-119
Frazer Krohn: 193-127
Julio Monteros Jr.: 182-102
Andrew Benjamin: 153-130
Jack Goodwillie: 148-83
Brian Knight: 134-80
Tim Wheaton: 105-60
Roemello Reyes: 62-34
Jonathan Andrade: 31-24
Brandon Joint: 12-9
Andrew Harbaugh: 10-7
Joshua Yule: 7-6
Chris De Santiago: 6-6
Antwyn Jackson: 5-6

*Note – not all staff pick for every event*
*UFC Fight Night 226 picks will be added to the above records NEXT weekend*

Jean Silva (10-2), +140
Kevin Vallejos (11-0), -166

Featherweight Division
– 145 LBS. ~ 65.8 KG. –

Jeremy Brand: Vallejos via Unanimous Decision
Wesley Riddle: Vallejos via Round 1 TKO
Michael DeSantis: Vallejos via Round 2 TKO
Frazer Krohn: Vallejos via Round 2 TKO
Nate Freeman: Vallejos via Round 1 TKO
Julio Monteros Jr.: Vallejos via Unanimous Decision
Ben Jamieson: Vallejos via Unanimous Decision

Staff picking Silva: 0
Staff picking Vallejos: 7

Serhiy Sidey (9-1), -192
Ramon Taveras (8-1), +160

Bantamweight Division
– Co-Main Event –

– 135 LBS. ~ 61.2 KG. –

Jeremy Brand: Sidey via Round 2 TKO
Wesley Riddle: Sidey via Round 2 TKO
Michael DeSantis: Sidey via Round 3 TKO
Frazer Krohn: Sidey via Unanimous Decision
Nate Freeman: Sidey via Round 2 TKO
Julio Monteros Jr.: Taveras via Unanimous Decision
Ben Jamieson: Sidey via Round 2 SUB

Staff picking Sidey: 7
Staff picking Taveras: 0

Bruno Lopes (11-0), -650
Brendson Ribeiro (14-5, 1 NC), +470

Light Heavyweight Division
– Main Event –

– 205 LBS. ~ 93.0 KG. –

Jeremy Brand: Lopes via Round 1 TKO
Wesley Riddle: Lopes via Round 1 TKO
Michael DeSantis: Lopes via Round 2 TKO
Frazer Krohn: Lopes via Round 2 TKO
Nate Freeman: Lopes via Round 1 TKO
Julio Monteros Jr.: Lopes via Unanimous Decision
Ben Jamieson: Lopes via Round 2 TKO

Staff picking Lopes: 7
Staff picking Ribeiro: 0


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Wesley Riddle is a 29-year-old writer residing in Raleigh, North Carolina from Harrisonburg, Virginia. He has been part of the MMASucka team since the fourth quarter of 2016. Additionally, he serves as a writer with partner site Last Word on Motorsports.

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