Week eight of Dana White’s Contender Series offered a chance at redemption for for Brazil’s Caio Borralho.
Appearing on the show just weeks ago, Borralho had earned a unanimous decision win over Canadian middleweight Aaron Jeffery. Given both men were considered UFC-ready, that might have been enough to earn Borralho a ticket to the big show then and there. But Borralho slowed in the third and final round, and the UFC contract was not to be. At least not on that night.
Instead, Boralho was invited back, to appear for a second time in one season — a rare opportunity to get a second chance without having to win any fights in between. The second fight of the year would come up a weight class, however, with Borralho moving to light heavyweight to take on Jesse Murray.
Dana White’s Contender Series Season 5, Week 8 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.
The opening fight of the evening seemed like a bit of a mismatch, with James Barnes being a bit long in the tooth for the Contender Series at age 39. With an inspiring and tragic backstory, it was nice to see Barnes get a moment in the sun — but after a close fight in the early going, Pedro Falcao turned it up in round three and earned another knockout win.
Armen Petrosyan got the job done within a round on Tuesday. He rocked Kaloyan Kolev with a kick by the fence, sitting him down then hitting home with a couple extra punches before the ref saved Kolev, who likely didn’t know what continent he was on at that point.
With his second change to make the UFC in a single season arriving on Tuesday, Caio Borralho made no mistake. He absolutely smashed through Jesse Murray, earning the finish care of some nasty ground n’ pound in under two minutes.
The final two bouts went the distance, with very different outcomes. Piera Rodriguez displayed lots of power and a strong right hand, earning a unanimous decision over Valesca Macado. Jonny Parsons, meanwhile, won a split decision over Solomon Renfro that left the latter looking bewildered after the scores had been read.
Dana White’s Contender Series Season 5, Week 8 Results
Welterweight: Jonny Parsons def. Solomon Renfro by split decision (29-28, 29-28, 28-29)
Women’s Strawweight: Piera Rodriguez def. Valesca Machado by unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
Light Heavyweight: Caio Borralho by. Jesse Murray by TKO, Round 1, 1:41
Light Heavyweight: Armen Petrosyan def. Kaloyan Kolev by knockout, Round 1, 4:27
Bantamweight: Pedro Falcão def. James Barnes by knockout, Round 3, 3:55
Contract Winners: Armen Petrosyan, Caio Borralho, Piera Rodriguez, Jonny Parsons