Dana White’s Contender Series is back to five fights this week, and a six-fight card in the last outing. This time out, there’s at least one familiar name on the DWCS docket: Steven Nguyen, who was on the wrong side of an Aalon Cruz flying knee knockout back in the 2019 season of the show.
This time out, Nguyen will take on the undefeated Theo Rlayang.
The featured fight on the card sees middleweights go at it. Hashem Arkhagha entered the night undefeated at 6-0. But ahead of the fight, he missed weight by a full three pounds, making the possibility of winning a contract questionable (though anything, frankly, seems possible on the show). Opposite him, another undefeated fighter in AJ Dobson, whose latest victory came over LFA standout and DWCS alum Kailan Hill.
Dana White’s Contender Series Season 5, Week 4 kicks off at 8PM ET, airing live on ESPN+ in the United States, and on UFC Fight Pass elsewhere. Full results from the card, at the UFC Apex, can be found below.
Lightweights Victor Martinez and Jacob Rosales kicked off the card Tuesday. The pair went the distance, with Rosales seemingly hurting his hand during the fight (this turned out to be a broken arm). That lead to him being a little gunshy in the final round. Martinez took home the unanimous decision win.
Kleydson Rodrigues followed that up with a one-sided decision against Santo Curatolo, which saw the Brazilian firing jump knees, head kicks, and more en route to the win.
A third straight decision was never in question, as Steven Nguyen controlled his fight against Theo Rlayeng. The previously undefeated Rlayeng had a point deducted in the third round for an eye poke, but it wouldn’t have made a difference.
Almost unthinkable was a fourth consecutive unanimous decision. That saw Ecuador’s Michael Morales get the better of Nikolay Veretennikov. Morales was the underdog heading into the fight, but he certainly didn’t look it. After a bit of a slow start in the first, he began to pull away as the fight progressed, and really took control in the final round.
AJ Dobson broke the decision streak in the final fight of the event. He landed some heavy blows on Hashem Arkhagha, who fired back but couldn’t stave off the onslaught. By the end of the round, Arkhagha was on his knees, and without even taking the back, Dobson sunk in the rear-naked choke for the tap.
Dana White’s Contender Series Season 5, Week 4 Results
Middleweight: AJ Dobson def. Hashem Arkhagha by submission (rear-naked choke), Round 1, 4:21
Lightweight: Michael Morales def. Nikolay Veretennikov by unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 30-27)
Featherweight: Steven Nguyen def. Theo Rlayeng by unanimous decision (29-27, 29-27, 30-26)
Flyweight: Kleydson Rodrigues def. Santo Curatolo by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Lightweight: Victor Martinez def. Jacob Rosales by unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
Contract winners: Victor Martinez, Kleydson Rodrigues, Michael Morales, AJ Dobson