The 2022 season of “Dana White’s Contender Series” wrapped up with five fighters earning finish wins and subsequently being offered UFC contracts. Returning Bo Nickal earned a contract, along with Sam Patterson, Jack Jenkins, Rafael Ramos Estevam, and Mateus Mendonca.
The sixth season of the “Contender Series” concluded at the UFC APEX in Las Vegas, Nevada, USA on Tuesday night.
Nickal Finishes Opponent Within A Minute In Second ‘Contender Series’ Appearance
Bo Nickal was the main focus of the night and lived up to the hype that surrounded him. He finished opponent Donovan Beard in just 52 seconds, showcasing a variety of skills in that brief performance.
Nickal dropped Beard with an overhand left to start the fight. He then moved into full mount on the ground.
Nickal found a choke when he moved to his back, securing a triangle choke on the ground to cause a tap from Beard.
Nickal, an accomplished freestyle wrestler at a collegiate level, now has three wins in MMA.
His prior victory came on the first week of the “Contender Series,” stopping Zack Borrego in just over a minute with a rear naked choke. His previous fight before then, his pro debut, ended in just 33 seconds in June.
Beard entered this week with a pro record of seven wins and two losses. He earned a CFFC belt just two months before, submitting Miles Lee in the fourth round of a fight.
Patterson Battles Past Adversity For Submission Win
Sam Patterson battled past some early struggles to submit Vinicius Cenci in their lightweight fight.
Patterson submitted Cenci late in the second round, tapping Cenci out with a rear naked choke. He got this submission after he took the back of Cenci, and after previously attempting a guillotine choke.
The fight went to the ground due to Cenci shooting for a takedown after consuming an uppercut punch to the head.
Cenci was able to land strikes earlier in his fight against Patterson. He notably dropped him in the opening round briefly with a clean left cross.
Patterson was coming over to the “Contender Series” after a stint in Brave CF, scoring five consecutvie wins from 2019 to 2022.
Tuesday was Cenci’s first loss since his pro debut in 2016.
Jenkins Stops Linares Late With Ground And Pound
Jack Jenkins put an end to his brutal performance against Freddy Emiliano Linares in the closing minute of their three-round bout.
Jenkins finished the fight in the final round with ground and pound shots from the back. This closed out a near one-sided performance that Jenkins had put on.
The fight became especially bloody in the second round, as an elbow from Jenkins from a full guard position opened a cut on the head of Linares. While this cut never threatened a doctor stoppage, it did cause a large amount of bleeding in the following minutes.
Jenkins succeeded on the Australian regional scene prior to this weekend. He earned a belt in Eternal MMA, and defended that title numerous times from 2020 to 2022.
Estevam Remains Undefeated With 11th Win
Relentless ground and pound from Rafael Ramos Estevam earned him a second round victory against Joao Elias.
Most of the fight saw Estevam get Elias to the ground then land ground and pound punches. This steady pace of strikes on the ground from Estevam eventually caused the referee to step in and end the fight halfway through the second round.
Estevam is an undefeated fighter that trains out of prolific MMA gym Nova Uniao. His previous fight was over a year ago, defeating Filipe Esteves on an LFA card.
Elias was the significantly more experienced fighter, entering this card with over 20 pro fights on his record. He had a three-fight steak of first-round finish wins before Tuesday.
Mendonca Earns 48 Second Win
Undefeated bantamweight Mateus Mendonca kicked off the card with the quickest win of the night, stopping Ashiek Ajim in just 48 seconds with strikes.
Mendonca first dropped Ajim with a right cross. A rocked Ajim looked to recover, but was then knocked out by a follow-up left hook that Mendonca connected with.
Mendonca, a Brazilian prospect, now has 10 wins since debuting just three years ago.
Ajim earned the CES Bantamweight Championship in his previous fight, picking up a 44-second submission against Azjavkhlan Baatar in June.
Main Card (8:00PM EDT / 5:00PM PDT) (ESPN+ / UFC Fight Pass Canada)
Bout 5: Bo Nickal def. Donovan Beard via Submission, Triangle Choke (RD 1, 0:52)
Bout 4: Sam Patterson def. Vinicius Cenci via Submission, Rear Naked Choke (RD 2, 4:18)
Bout 3: Jack Jenkins def. Freddy Emiliano Linares via TKO, Strikes (RD 3, 4:30)
Bout 2: Rafael Ramos Estevam def. Joao Elias via TKO, Strikes (RD 2, 2:25)
Bout 1: Mateus Mendonca def. Ashiek Ajim via TKO, Strikes (RD 1, 0:48)