The final episode in season five of “Dana White’s Contender Series” saw just two fighters get offered UFC contracts Tuesday.
Yohan Lainesse and Maheshate were offered contracts by UFC President Dana White following their wins at the UFC APEX in Las Vegas, Nevada, USA.
Only two of five winners on Tuesday’s episode getting offered a UFC contract finished the season on a low note, concluding 10 generous weeks that saw 40 fighters get signed to the promotion – a new high for a season of the show.
An average of four fighters was signed per episode this year. This is a slight increase from the season before, where on average 3.7 fighters were offered a contract per episode.
The first three seasons of the show in total saw UFC bosses much more strict on who got a contract, offering an average of 2.6 winners a contract per episode from 2017 to 2019.
Maheshate Out-Lands Estremadura For Win, UFC Contract
Maheshate’s main event fight over Achilles Estremadura saw him use his sharp striking to take a unanimous decision win.
While Estremadura started the fight strong, a moment in the second round from Maheshate marked the beginning of a successful performance for the 21-year-old prospect.
Maheshate hurt Estremadura in the second round, stunning him with a flying switch knee to the head. While Estremadura remained on his feet after the shot, he then consumed numerous shots up against the cage.
Maheshate has now won six consecutive bouts as a pro, with previous wins coming in notable Chinese promotion WLF.
Coming in as a major favorite to win, Estremadura took his first pro loss in the main event. He has fought his seven previous bouts in Canadian promotion BFL, having been their long-time lightweight champ.
CFFC Champ Lainesse Scores Early
CFFC Welterweight Champion Lainesse had an explosive win in his appearance, scoring a left hook knockout in the first round to hand Justin Burlinson his first pro loss.
Lainesse floored Burlinson with the left hook at the end of a two-punch combination. Burlinson dropped immediately due to the explosive blow, causing the referee to step in only moments later.
Lainesse is now undefeated through eight pro bouts. He had been tearing up U.S. promotion CFFC prior, having earned four victories in the promotion since August 2020.
He earned the promotion’s welterweight belt in July, earning a second-round victory over Evan Cutts.
Burlinson entered Tuesday with a flawless record of six wins. This included fights in notable promotions Bellator and Cage Warriors.
Ferreira Gets Nod Over Qiu
Erisson Ferreira took a close scorecard win Tuesday, defeating Qiu Lun via unanimous decision after three rounds.
Qiu seeming took the lead early in the fight, having the better striking of the flyweights. Ferreira succeeded in the final round, grappling against a tired Qui and searching for submissions.
UFC President White disagreed with the decision for the fight, noting in his postmortem speech that he thought Qiu got the victory.
Ferreira was emotional after his win. It was mentioned on the UFC broadcast that he fights for his daughter, who passed away at a young age due to a heart condition.
Ferreira’s previous wins came on the regional scene in Brazil. He is now on a five-fight winning streak that dates back to 2018.
Qiu had been quite active prior to this fight, picking up three wins over the past year.
Bilharinho Lands Late Walk-Off KO
Jonas Bilharinho scored a flashy walk-off win on Tuesday, stopping Canaan Kawaihae in the third round with a wheel kick.
Bilharinho put an end to his fight against Kawaihae late in the final round, connecting with a spinning head kick that wobbled and eventually dropped Kawaihae.
Despite the flashy win, Bilharinho was not offered a UFC contract at the end of the show.
Bilharinho had an explosive win in his previous fight as well, stopping Junior Duarte in 2019 with a first-round flying knee knockout.
Kawaihae was returning for his second “Contender Series” fight. He appeared in the 2018 Season as well, losing a decision to Chase Hooper.
The returning contestant had a quick win in his prior showing, stopping Jake Childers in just 20 seconds with a ninja choke.
Puerta Defeats Fellow Experienced Fighter Shang In Opener
Flyweight veteran Juan Puerta kicked the card off with a win, taking a split decision over Shang Zhifa.
Puerta had control time in the first and second rounds, holding Shang in ground positions to take the rounds. Shang’s best round was the final frame, as the fight remained on the feet and allowed him to be more active.
The flyweight matchup was one of the most experienced pairings of the season, as the fighters entered the cage with a combined number of 67 pro bouts.
Puerta is now on an impressive 12-fight winning streak. Previous victories in the run include a win in Combate Global and numerous appearances in Titan FC.
Shang also joined the card with a long winning streak, having gone undefeated since 2016 in China.
Main Card (8:00PM EDT / 5:00PM PDT) (ESPN+ / UFC Fight Pass Canada)
Bout 5: Maheshate def. Achilles Estremadura via Decision, Unanimous
Bout 4: Yohan Lainesse def. Justin Burlinson via TKO, Strikes (RD 1, 1:37)
Bout 3: Erisson Ferreira def. Qiu Lun via Decision, Unanimous
Bout 2: Jonas Bilharinho def. Canaan Kawaihae via TKO, Strikes (RD 3, 4:00)
Bout 1: Juan Puerta def. Shang Zhifa via Decision, Split