DWCS 2023: Episode 2 Breakdown and Predictions

George Hardwick appearing on dwcs
George Hardwick, Cage Warriors 141 Credit: Cage Warriors

What a difference a year can make. In 2022, the first episode of Dana White’s Contender Series had just one contract handed out, leaving Dana White miffed over the perceived lack of action (or at the very least, lack of finishes).

2023? All five winners in week one picked up UFC deals. Could we be in store for a similar bounty in week two? This time around, Cage Warriors star George Hardwich, and Cage Fury vet Pampos Grigoriou are among the names in action. Let’s break it down!

Lightweight: Abdul-Kareem Al-Selwady vs. George Hardwick

Tale of the tape

Abdul-Kareem Al-Selwady
Jordan/Dallas, Texas
Fortis MMA
8 KO/TKOs, 2 Submissions
Combined opponent’s record: 114-47-2

George Hardwick
Middlesbrough, England
Middlesbrough Fight Academy
5 KO/TKOs, 3 Submissions
Combined opponent’s record: 77-28

Pros and Cons

Abdul-Kareem Al-Selwady


  • Excellent wrestling
  • Heavy pressure
  • Good takedown entries
  • Excellent GNP
  • Uses feints well
  • Solid jiu-jitsu
  • Hits hard
  • Good top position
  • Physically strong


  • Vulnerable at range
  • Questionable chin
  • Loose in positions at times
  • Tends to dip his head a lot

George Hardwick


  • Constant forward pressure
  • Excellent bodywork
  • Patient
  • Underrated grappling
  • Well-conditioned
  • Neck-snatcher
  • Excellent shot-selection
  • Accurate
  • Cuts the cage off well
  • Chopping leg kicks
  • Goes body-head often


  • Striking defense needs a little work

Who has the advantage?

Striking: Hardwick
Speed: Even
Output/Volume: Hardwick
Kickboxing: Hardwick
Striking defense: Even
Footwork/movement: Hardwick
Wrestling: Al-Selwady
Grappling: Al-Selwady
Gas tank: Even

Prediction: This is a fantastic fight between two very deserving guys. Both have put in a lot of time and a lot of success on the regional scene. Hardwick is the reigning, defending Cage Warriors champ and Al-Selwady was the Fury FC champ and Brave CF champ.

Between the two I like the competition Hardwick has fought better. Al-Selwady went from fighting in the Middle East and getting knocked out in brutal fashion twice in a row to moving to the States and fighting lesser opponents in Texas. Although he has improved greatly I’m sure the guys he’s beaten are masking the performances somewhat.

Hardwick is the fan favorite with his striking style but he has work cut out for him in a strong wrestler in Al-Selwady. I see a clearer path to victory for Hardwick and that’s on the feet. He’s far more technical, durable, and just has more tools to utilize. Al-Selwady will have to wrestle heavily but there is no evidence he will be able to neutralize Hardwick. I like Hardwick because his takedown defense should be good enough. He should be able to pick apart Al-Selwady at range and get a possible finish. It’s a shame for one to lose because I think both are UFC-level, especially Hardwick.