Dana White’s Contender Series Season 7, Week 6 Results

Jean Matsumoto and Kasey Tanner during Dana White's Contender Series season seven, week six
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - SEPTEMBER 12: Jean Matsumoto and Kasey Tanner during Dana White's Contender Series season seven, week six at UFC APEX on September 12, 2023 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

You might as well call Dana White’s Contender Series Season 7, Episode 6 the redemption episode.

A full four fighters were getting second (or third) looks on the show on Tuesday night, with Julia Polastri, Eduardo Neves, Stephen Nguyen, and Malik Lewis all returning from previous seasons.

Polastri had come up short in 2021 against Jasmine Jasudavicius, a loss that has at least aged well given the Canadian is now 3-1 under the UFC banner, and facing Tracy Cortez in a high-profile flyweight bout in less than a week’s time.

Lewis, who lost to Trevor Peek previously on DWCS, was looking to show he had improved his cardio, while heavyweight Neves was booked into a fight with a dangerous striker in former GLORY kickboxer Jhonata Diniz.

Steven Nguyen, meanwhile, was getting his third opportunity on the Contender Series when he took on LFA alum AJ Cunningham. Nguyen was floored by a memorable Aalon Cruz flying knee in his first Contender Series showing in 2019, then returned in 2021 to defeat Theo Riayang. That decision win, however, was not enough to land him a UFC deal. On Tuesday, he was hoping to make a much bigger statement.

Dana White’s Contender Series Season 7, Week 6 kicks off at 8PM ET on ESPN+ in the U.S., and UFC Fight Pass elsewhere. Full results can be found below.

Week 6 kicked off with a bang as undefeated Jean Matsumoto and Kasey Tanner threw down in a technical back-and-forth. One of the best fights of the season, Matsumoto controlled with leg kicks, but Tanner was never really out of the fight, firing back and even pursuing a takedown late. Matsumoto would claim a decision win in the end, improving to 14-0, but it was enough to bring Dana White into the cage post-fight to pay his respects to both men.

Not to be outdone, Julia Polastri and Patricia Alujas put on a solid show, with Polastri getting the fight down and landing some heavy ground n’ pound before wrapping up a rear-naked choke in the second round.

An explosive ending to the opening round between featherweights Steven Nguyen and AJ Cunningham came as Nguyen hurt his opponent and went after the finish just ahead of the bell. Landing a series of punishing ground strikes, Nguyen was swinging away with a couple of shots almost certainly landing after the horn before the ref could step in. Not a finish, and the fight carried on to the second. Nguyen did put the fight away in round two, uncorking a series of combos that all hit the mark — and with Cunningham not defending, the ref stopped it on the feet.

The slug fest that many expected in Eduardo Neves vs. Jhonata Diniz very much played out, with Diniz lighting up the returning Brazilian on the feet before finishing things with a one-punch KO.

After a trio of finishes, the final fights of the evening saw lightweights Malik Lewis and James Llontop go the distance. Llontop was the clear winner of this one, collecting a pair of 10-8 scores from the judges.

Dana White’s Contender Series Season 7, Week 6 Results

Lightweight: James Llontop def. Malik Lewis by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-26, 30-26)
Heavyweight: Jhonata Diniz def. Eduardo Neves by TKO (punch), Round 1, 3:15
Featherweight: Steven Nguyen def. A.J. Cunningham by TKO (strikes), Round 2, 4:06
Women’s Strawweight: Julia Polastri def. Patricia Alujas by submission (rear-naked choke), Round 2, 4:05
Bantamweight: Jean Matsumoto def. Kasey Tanner by unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28)

Contract Winners: Jean Matsumoto, Julia Polastri, Steven Nguyen, Jhonata Diniz, James Llontop


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here