Dana White’s Contender Series is back for season five this year, potentially arriving in June. So far the show has produced talents like Sean O’Malley, Alex Perez, Kevin Holland, Ricky Simon, Ryan Spann, Johnny Walker, Sodiq Yusuff, Miguel Baeza, Jamahal Hill, Uros Medic, and many more.
In this three-part feature, we’ll list prospects the UFC should bring in for season five. This will exclude prospects that have already been on the show, although there are a few that could very well be brought back. The goal here is to be realistic with the selections, so don’t expect too many left-field picks.
From last year’s list, Tafon Nchukwi, Dustin Stoltzfus, Brandon Royval, Collin Anglin, TJ Laramie, Adrian Yanez, Al Matavao, Nikolas Motta, Cody Brundage, Sherrard Blackledge and more all made it to the show. Others, like Anthony Ivy, Kay Hansen, Max Rohskopf, Timur Valiev, and Irwin Rivera, were signed directly to the UFC, to varying degrees of success.
Let’s get started!
Bantamweight | 25 | Chicago, Illonise, US | 8-2 | Win Streak: 2 | 3 KO/TKOs, 3 Submissions
Kakharamonov should 100% be one of the first fighters the UFC contacts for the Contender Series this year. Kakharamonov just recently won the CFFC bantamweight title with an impressive knockout win. He’s only lost to Pipe Vargas and Umar Nurmagomedov, the latter of whom is a current UFC fighter. He’s fought for the likes of CFFC and PFL so he’s been on the bigger stages. Kakharamonov has exciting style and the personality that the show needs.
Bantamweight | 26 | Chicago, Illonise, US | 11-1 | Win Streak: 1 | 4 KO/TKOs, 2 Submissions
Askar’s sole loss was to the name above in Saidyokub Kakharamonov. It did happen in only 0:39 seconds, so there wasn’t really a chance to see how that fight would have played out. Askar was signed to the UFC this past February to fight Cody Stamann on short notice. The fight was called off because Askar failed his medicals, and his contract was pulled. It’s only fair to give Askar another chance by having him go through the Contender Series first, to see if he’s ready (and if he’s healthy). Askar is a really talented fighter and the extra experience will only help him.