All Five Winners Offered UFC Contracts In Fourth 2022 Episode of ‘Dana White’s Contender Series’

UFC was generous this week, offering to sign all five winners on Tuesday’s episode of “Dana White’s Contender Series.”

Nazim Sadykhov, Hailey Cowan, Jose Johnson, Claudio Ribeiro and Esteban Ribovics were all offered UFC contracts after their wins from the UFC APEX in Las Vegas, Nevada, USA.

Esteban Ends Close Battle With Paull Early

Undefeated Esteban Ribovics prevailed in a firefight against Thomas Paull in Tuesday’s main event, putting him away in the second minute with punches.

Ribovics dropped Paull with a right hook during an exchange on the feet early. He then landed a series of ground and pound shots before the referee stepped in to stop the bout.

Both of the lightweights were swinging early prior to the finish. Ribovics charged down Paull the moment the fight started, but Paull was willing to engage in back-and-forth exchanges with him on the feet.

All 11 of Ribovics’ pro fights have been wins via finish, and three of those performances have concluded in less than a minute.

Ribovics made his return to competition earlier this year, stopping Franco Aranda on a Samurai Fight House card. That bout was his first appearance since late 2020.

Paull entered Tuesday on a three-fight streak of wins.

Ribeiro Floors Valenzuela In Just 25 Seconds

Claudio Riberio scored one of the quickest wins of the season thus far in Tuesday’s co-main event, putting away Ivan Valenzuela in just 25 seconds.

Ribeiro scored a knockout finish with a left hook, throwing the strike after Valenzuela whiffed on a spinning backfist attempt.

The victory continued a series of finish victories for the Brazilian prospect. He has now picked up five straight finish wins, including a championship performance in Future FC last year.

Valenzuela was coming from Mexico’s LUX Fight League, where he put together a five-fight winning streak and took their 185-pound belt.

Johnson Defeats Champion Cartwright In Second ‘Contender Series’ Outing

Jose Johnson picked up a win in his return to the “Contender Series,” handing Cage Warriors Champion Jack Cartwright his first pro loss in a unanimous decision result.

Johnson’s three-round battle against Cartwright mostly took place in grappling positions.

The bantamweights were engaged in reversal-heavy battles on the ground. Johnson was the much more active fighter during these moments, unloading with punches on top and from his back.

Johnson previously appeared on the 2020 season of “Dana White’s Contender Series,” where he lost a unanimous decision to Ronnie Lawrence. He has remained active on the regional scene since then, earning three wins and one loss.

Cartwright had a flawless record of 10 wins before Tuesday. This included a run as the Cage Warriors Bantamweight Champion, defending his belt three times since 2019.

Cowan Takes Close Decision Over Leite

Bantamweight Hailey Cowan earned a close split decision victory, going the distance against Claudia Leite.

Cowan opened the fight with a solid round, using her elbows and punches from a clinch position.

Leite started to turn things around in the second round, getting Cowan to the canvas early and retaining a dominant position for most of the round.

The closest round was definitely the last, as both bantamweights had a moment on the feet. Cowan scored a takedown early in the frame, but Leite was able to reverse the position with two minutes to go.

Cowan has previously appeared in notable promotions LFA and Invicta FC.

Most of Leite’s experience came from fights on the Brazilian regional scene.

Sadykhov Finishes Hassanzada Late

Nazim Sadykhov opened the night with a big win, taking Ahmad Hassanzada into deep waters and earning a knockout finish.

Sadykhov put an end to his fight in the third round, connecting with a clean right hook that dropped Hassanzada hard. The fight was stopped just moments later.

Sadykhov had a hard-fought two-round battle against Hassanzada before the finish.

Sadykhov made the fight ugly early with ground and pound shots. Most of the round saw him cause damage to Hassanzada, cutting him with elbows from full guard.

Hassanzada escaped this position later in the round, but Sadykhov continued to attack in other grappling positions.

The fight became much more of a stand-up battle in the later rounds. Hassanzada often attempted takedowns on the feet, but Sadykhov was able to avoid most attempts.

Sadykhov mentioned afterward that he regretted not being able to showcase other parts of his game that don’t involve striking. However, he also admitted that the style he presented worked for the reality show: “Nobody comes here to watch wrestling,” he said.

Sadykhov succeeded on the U.S. regional scene prior to this appearance. He notably went on a four-fight winning streak that included numerous wins in Fury FC and CFFC.

Hassanzada entered this week with a record of just nine wins and one loss. He made his U.S. debut earlier this year, appearing in the LFA after leaving Afghanistan. He won in that fight, defeating James Wilson in February.

Quick Results

Main Card (8:00PM EDT / 5:00PM PDT) (ESPN+ / UFC Fight Pass)

Bout 5: Esteban Ribovics def. Thomas Paull via TKO, Strikes (RD 1, 1:30)

Bout 4: Claudio Ribeiro def. Ivan Valenzuela via TKO, Strikes (RD 1, 0:25)

Bout 3: Jose Johnson def. Jack Cartwright via Decision, Unanimous

Bout 2: Hailey Cowan def. Claudia Leite via Decision, Split

Bout 1: Nazim Sadykhov def. Ahmad Hassanzada via TKO, Strikes (RD 3, 1:59)

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