Dana White’s Contender Series is back for the seventh Tuesday of the season.
This week’s block of fights will see one of the biggest fights of the season take place in the main event. Shamil Gaziev and Greg Velasco, two elite heavyweights of different regional circuits from around the world, will face off the winner likely to receive a UFC contract with the loser still likely to wind up in a major organization at some point in the future. Four other exciting fights will precede this week’s heavyweight main event.
This week’s episode of DWCS is set to get underway at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT, and can be streamed live on ESPN+.
Main Event — Gaziev vs. Velasco
Shamil Gaziev, fighting out of the Kingdom of Bahrain, trains at a loaded KHK MMA Team under Head Coach Eldar Eldarov. Gaziev has powered his way through Eastern Europe with strong skills, big power and a killer instinct few fighters outside the UFC can match. He has most recently competed in BRAVE CF, where he has padded his record with a pair of big knockouts, the most recent of which came over UFC veteran Darko Stosic. Gaziev is clearly UFC caliber, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t holes in his game the right fighter might be able to exploit. His cardio leaves something to be desired, as Kirill Kornilov took him to a decision in Ares FC, and even won the fight on one judge’s scorecards. However, cardio matters little if you’re able to end fights the way Gaziev is capable of.
Greg Velasco, meanwhile, can match Gaziev’s tools minus the power, and carries with him a large enough gas tank that could win him a lot of fights against some of the lumbering big men currently making up the UFC heavyweight roster. Velasco, who wrestled at Rider University in South Jersey, has shown an array of tools rivaled only by UFC heavyweight contender Ciryl Gane at this point in his career. He has finished foes standing, on the ground, and has even shown an ability to break opponents with his cardio. Velasco will surely need to weather the storm early against a fighter like Gaziev, but if he can extend his overseas opponent, he could find himself ticketed for instant impact in the UFC heavyweight division.
Rest of the Card
LFA lightweight champion Jacobi Jones will take co-main event billing when he takes on 4-0 unbeaten Daniel James Allen. Allen has had an impressive start to his career, but at 31, he lacks the quality of opposition Jones has faced. The FactoryX Muay Thai product carries with him an impressive wrestling base he used slice open a highly touted prospect in Jean-Paul Lebosnoyani, en route to a referee stoppage via blood loss.
Meanwhile Stephanie Luciano will take on Talita Alencar in yet another fixture in the women’s strawweight division on DWCS. While there is enough talent at 115 pounds to fill a Top-15 at women’s bantamweight multiple times over, both women are impressive prospects and certainly on the UFC level. Alencar’s background is in grappling, while Luciano’s is in Muay Thai. It will also be interesting to see how the gap in age causes this fight to play out, as at 23-years-old, Luciano is nine years the junior of her opponent.
Kaynan Kruschewsky is also scheduled to meet Dylan Mantello at 155 pounds. The Brazilian Kruschewsky has a 14-1 record, which while impressive, has largely come on the Brazilian regional circuit, save for one LFA appearance. He could meet his match in Mantello, a Longo And Weidman MMA product who carries with him the skillset fight fans have grown accustomed to seeing out of that camp. Opening the show will be a fight between Igor da Silva and Jhonata Silva, as they vie to become the latest addition to the UFC flyweight roster.
For up to the minute results and updates, be sure to stay locked in to MMA Sucka.
Dana White’s Contender Series 63 Results
Shamil Gaziev def. Greg Velasco via submission (RNC) at 2:38 of Round 1
Daniel James Allen def. JaCobi Jones via Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)
Talita Alencar vs. Stephanie Luciano Ends in a Unanimoud Draw (28-28, 28-28, 28-28)
Kaynan Kruschewsky def. Dylan Mantello via Technical Submission (RNC) at 2:52 of Round 1
Igor da Silva def. Jhonata Silva via TKO (punches) at 2:37 of Round 2