DWCS 2023: Episode 6 Breakdown and Predictions

UFC Apex, home of Dana White's Contender Series
UFC Apex. Credit: Gabriel Gonzalez/Cageside Press

A familiar crop of UFC hopefuls are set to throw down on DWCS 2023 Episode 6, with no fewer than four returning fighters in action.

Among those returning faces is Julia Polastri, who had fallen to Jasmine Jasudavicius in 2021. Since that date, Polastri has won three straight to earn herself another crack at the UFC.

Eduardo Neves and Steven Nguyen are also returning to Dana White’s Contender Series in Week 6 — and somewhat surprisingly, Nguyen has not fought at all since his last appearance on the show. Nguyen is fighting on DWCS for the third time, and is coming off a win that hadn’t earned him a UFC deal. But will the third time be the charm?

Plus, Malik Lewis returns after falling to Trevor Peek the first time around.

Read on for our predictions!

Malik Lewis, Dana White's Contender Series 54
Malik Lewis, Dana White’s Contender Series 54 Credit: Alex Behunin/Cageside Press

Featherweight: James Llontop Vs. Malik Lewis

Tale of the Tape

James Llontop
Lima, Peru
7 KO/TKOs, 1 Submission
Combined opponent’s record: 104-56-2
Malik Lewis
Texas, US
Genesis BJJ
5 KO/TKOs, 1 Submission
Combined opponent’s record: 30-19

Pros and Cons

James Llontop


  • Good activity
  • Uses a lot of feints
  • Good kickboxing
  • Credible wrestling
  • Good bodywork
  • Nasty clinch elbows
  • Good clinch work


  • TDD needs work
  • Slow
  • Not much grappling upside
  • Gives up his back easily

Malik Lewis


  • Explosive
  • Athletic
  • Uses hard feints
  • Snipping straight punches
  • Good in and out movement
  • Mixes in punches and kicks
  • Excellent knees
  • Quick hands
  • Goon knees
  • Uses different striking patterns
  • Good scrambles
  • Uses length/size well
  • Physically strong
  • Active guard


  • Loose in positions with wrestling/grappling
  • Questionable TDD

Who has the advantage?

Striking: Lewis
Speed: Lewis
Output/Volume: Llontop
Kickboxing: Llontop
Striking defense: Llontop
Footwork/movement: Lewis
Wrestling: Lewis
Grappling: Even
Gas tank: Llontop

Prediction: Lewis is getting another Contender Series opportunity after losing to Trevor Peek last season. He beat on Peek for four minutes and then gassed out badly and lost in round two. It was a bad look losing to Peek but more importantly his cardio looked lacking. He did get back on track with a win but his cardio was still shaky. From a technical standpoint, he’s solid but his endurance and durability are a big concern.

Llontop has looked fine but “looking fine” in the Peruvian scene may not be all that good. He started off 2-2 in his career and has now won eleven in a row. Llontop does a few things really well; His feints, kickboxing, and bodywork all are quality weapons to have.

This is another fight Lewis should win because he’s clearly the better fighter. His cardio is a big concern especially because Llontop fights at the same pace for three rounds. The good thing for Lewis is that Llontop doesn’t push a hard pace. Also, Llontop I would bet isn’t as tough as Peek. My pick is Lewis because he is the better fighter.