If there was a theme to the tenth and final installment of this year’s Dana White’s Contender Series, it was redemption. A full four fighters were returning to the show, several after appearing earlier this year. Those included Sherrard Blackledge and Tucker Lutz, who were fighting each other in a lightweight showdown.
JP Buys, meanwhile, whose wife Cheyanne won her way into the UFC on DWCS earlier this season, was also back. Buys first appeared on the Contender Series in 2017, coming up short in a fight against Joby Sanchez. This time around, he’ll be taking on another returning fighter in Jacob Silva. “Lil Animal” first appeared on the show back in August, losing a hard-fought unanimous decision against Jeff Molina.
The opening fight at Week 10 of the Dana White’s Contender Series this year featured women’s flyweights, one of two fights in the weight class on the card. That bout pitted Chelsea Hackett, a top prospect in the division despite having just four pro fights to her name, agaisnt Invicta FC veteran Victoria Leonardo.
The action gets underway at 8PM ET on Tuesday, November 17, airing on ESPN+ in the U.S., and UFC Fight Pass elsewhere. Check below for results.
Victoria Leonardo had a big advantage on the ground against Chelsea Hackett on Tuesday. Despite coming in the underdog, Leonardo was able to using her wrestling to pick up the win. While she did have to weather a few flurries from Hackett, specifically earlier in the second, Leonardo was able to take her opponent down, get on top, and land heavy ground n’ pound to pick up the TKO finish.
Tucker Lutz went the distance for the second time on the Contender Series this year, as the lightweight dominated Sherrard Blackledge. The only problem would be whether or not three takedowns and a round’s worth of control time would be enough to earn him a UFC deal, after 30 full minutes in the cage after two appearances.
Gloria de Paula, meanwhile, dominated Ronda Rousey training partner Pauline Macias in all areas. de Paula had the edge on the ground, and on the feet, showing strong clinch work and submission skills on route to a lopsided unanimous decision.
David slew Goliath in the night’s heavyweight bout. Nick Maximov weighed in at 209lbs. Opponent Oscar Cota tipped the scales at 263lbs. But despite the weight discrepancy it was Maximov, who trains with the Diaz brothers, earning a one-sided decision with 10-8 rounds on two scorecards. After the fight, Maximov told UFC matchmaker Mick Maynard that he’s a middleweight, but willing to fight anyone at 185 or 205lbs. And heavyweight, apparently.
In the final fight of the night, JP Buys earned a controversial submission win over Jacob Silva. Buys had Silva in a guillotine; Silva did not tap, did not appear to go out, but referee Mark Goddard waved it off, awarding a technical submission win. Goddard failed to call for the use of instant replay, ending the night on a sour note. At least for Silva. Post-fight, UFC President Dana White admitted the ref had made the wrong call — but rewarded Buys a contract regardless, along with de Paula, Lutz, and Leonardo. Nick Maximov, meanwhile, was offered a shot on The Ultimate Fighter.
Dana White’s Contender Series Season 4, Week 10 Results
JP Buys def. Jacob Silva technical submission (guillotine choke), Round 1, 4:54
Nick Maximov def. Oscar Cota by unanimous decision (30-26, 30-26, 29-28)
Gloria de Paula def. Pauline Macias by unanimous decision (30-26, 30-26, 30-27)
Tucker Lutz def. Sherrard Blackledge by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Victoria Leonardo def. Chelsea Hackett by TKO, Round 2, 4:41
Contract Winners: Victoria Leonardo, Tucker Lutz, Gloria de Paula, JP Buys. Nick Maximov offered a spot on The Ultimate Fighter.