Arguably the biggest problem with Dana White’s Contender Series is that there’s just ten weeks of the show. Only ten weeks, and once again this year, they have just flown by.
The latest batch of UFC hopefuls set to compete in Week 9 of DWCS Season 7 were down a couple of fighters, however. That’s because flyweight Lucas Rocha badly missed weight for a planned bout with Davi Bittencourt. Coming in a full five pounds heavy means that fight was scratched, leaving a four-pack of scheduled contests including two light heavyweight bouts on Tuesday night.
Among those who would be in action, LFA light heavyweight champion Rodolfo Bellato, who would be appearing on the Contender Series for the second time. A highly touted 205’er training with the Nogueira brothers, Bellato still had a tough out in Murtaza Talha, an undefeated talent from Bahrain who had spent his entire career with Brave CF, and who had gone undefeated as an amateur as well, winning several medals under the IMMAF.
Dana White’s Contender Series Season 7, Week 9 goes down Tuesday, October 3, 2023 at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas. The card streams live on ESPN+ in the U.S., and UFC Fight Pass elsewhere. Full results can be found below.
Week 9’s opening fight saw a teammate of Caio Borralho at Fighting Nerds, Mauricio Ruffy, go deep into the third round with a dangerous opponent in Raimond Magomedaliev. The opening round and a half was basically a chess match, with things opening up in the back half of the fight. In the third, Ruffy began to pull away, and also opened up a cut on his opponent, though it appeared to come from a clash of heads off a spinning back elbow. Regardless, Magomedaliev was waning, and with just 15 seconds to go in the fight, Ruffy secured the TKO finish, achieving mount while his opponent covered up.
Every kick landed by Magomed Gadzhiyasulov in the night’s second bout, at light heavyweight, landed with an audible crack. Opponent Jose Daniel Medina smiled as if to say he was fine, but in reality, he appeared to have little answer. Through two rounds Gadzhiyasulov used his length well, landed kicks low and two the body, and even mixed in some spinning attacks. In the third, Gadzhiyasulov appeared to tire, and even took the fight to the ground, but his dominance was never in question, with all three judges awarding him all three rounds.
Victor Hugo Silva got the job done in the second round of his fight with Eduardo Matias Torres, securing the submission win by kneebar. That turned out to be just the second kneebar in DWCS history, with the first landed by Gadzhi Omargadzhiev in season five (coincidentally, also in week nine that year).
LFA light heavyweight champ Rodolfo Bellato closed out the night in a firefight with Murtaza Talha. In the second, Bellato had Talha under heavy fire, with Bahrain’s Talha covering up and sometimes blindly firing back. Plenty of heart and chin, but eventually Talha was overwhelmed with knees, then a barrage of left hands to give Rodolfo Bellato the second-round TKO victory.
Dana White’s Contender Series Season 7, Week 9 Results
Light Heavyweight: Rodolfo Bellato def. Murtaza Talha by TKO, Round 2, 4:46
Bantamweight: Victor Hugo Silva def. Eduardo Matias Torres by submission (kneebar), Round 2, 2:16
Light Heavyweight: Magomed Gadzhiyasulov def. José Daniel Medina by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Welterweight: Mauricio Ruffy def. Raimond Magomedaliev by TKO, Round 3, 4:45
Flyweight: Lucas Rocha vs. Davi Bittencourt — Cancelled due to Rocha missing weight
Contract winners: Mauricio Ruffy, Magomed Gadzhiyasulov, José Daniel Medina, Victor Hugo Medina, Rodolfo Bellato