DWCS 2021 Week 1 Breakdown and Predictions

Carlos Candelario, CES 63
Carlos Candelario, CES 63 Credit: CES MMA

It’s back! At long last, Dana White’s Contender Series returns for its much-anticipated fifth season. To be fair, DWCS has been gone just a year, and fight fans had the recently finished Ultimate Fighter 29 to fill the void. Then again, many have suggested a second run of Contender Series fights each year, or just a longer season.

And why not? Because frankly, there’s a lot to like about the Contender Series, from the stakes to the presentation to the no fuss, no muss format.

Either way, the show returns Tuesday, with a four-fight card to kick off its fifth season. Here’s a look at the fights gracing the card in week one!

Light heavyweight: Azamat Murzakanov vs. Matheus Scheffel

Tale of the Tape

Azamat Murzakanov
From Russia but living in Fairfield, New Jersey
K-Dojo Warrior Tribe
Matheus Scheffel
Curitiba, Parana, Brazil
CM System

Pros and Cons

Azamat Murzakanov


  • Fast starter
  • Extremely heavy hands
  • Good movement/Light on his feet
  • Solid wrestling
  • Really good ground and pound
  • Powerful overhand left
  • Dangerous counter striker


  • Suspect cardio

Matheus Scheffel


  • Good output
  • Solid TDD
  • Accurate hands
  • Good gas tank
  • Heavy hands
  • Good kicks
  • Dangerous in exchanges


  • Shaky chin
  • Gets drawn into brawls

Who has the advantage?

Striking: Murzakanov
Speed: Scheffel
Output/Volume: Scheffel
Knockout Power: Murzakanov
Chin: Murzakanov
Kickboxing: Scheffel
Footwork: Murzakanov
Wrestling: Murzakanov
Grappling: Murzakanov
Submissions: Neither
Cardio: Scheffel


Even though Scheffel has much more experience than Murzakanov, Murzakanov has beaten better fighters. Murzakanov has wins over Mohammad Fakhreddine, the well-traveled Guto Inocente, and UFC fighter Andre Muniz.

Murzakanov has a background in judo and hand-to-hand combat, where he beat UFC fighter Ion Cutelaba. Scheffel does pose a threat on the feet for Murzakanov however. With that said, Scheffel has been knocked out a few times and Murzakanov has immense power. I have no doubt Murzakanov can knock out Scheffel. Murzakanov can go the other route in grounding Scheffel as he has a clear wrestling and grappling advantage. Russia’s Murzakanov has more ways to win this fight, and I believe he’s better everywhere.