THE RESUME IS ESSENTIAL IN ANY JOB INTERVIEW, AND CONTENDER SERIES IS ESSENTIALLY A JOB INTERVIEW FOR THE UFC.
With the COVID-19 pandemic not even at its peak in the U.S., it is unknown whether the new season of DWCS will be delayed. However, there have been a few rumblings regarding opportunities given. Although UFC will have less fighters to choose from due to not having regional fights leading up to the first episode, there is still plenty of talent to choose from.
The following names have been mentioned for Season 4 of DWCS:
- Light Heavyweight Matheus Scheffel (14-6 MMA) posted on his Instagram that he signed a contract to fight July 14th.
- There were rumblings regarding Middleweight Mario Sousa (11-1 MMA) also fighting on July 14th.
- Flyweight Arman Ashimov (11-3 MMA) is apparently fighting on June 30th.
- Bantamweight Adrian Yanez (10-3 MMA), Flyweight Jeffery Molina (7-2 MMA), and Bantamweight Leomana Martinez (6-1 MMA) have stated they are getting an opportunity on Season 4.
With the trend for this season being international fighters and fighters with lengthy records, we at The Scrap decided to follow the UFC’s trend and scout for the most impressive regional resumes.
Here is a list of a few fighters that should earn an interview with the UFC this season on Dana White’s Contender Series:
JASON RAMOS (MIDDLEWEIGHT)
Last Fight: MaxxFC 37, 8/24/19, Unanimous Decision
Puerto Rico’s Jason Ramos (12-2 MMA) is a beast that has yet to be introduced to the world, and should be via Contender Series. If fighters with lengthy records are getting the opportunity, then Ramos is another that should. He hasn’t lost since 2017, and loves to finish fights early. His last time out was his first decision win, however, all other 11 came via finishes.
Ramos could have the opportunity to be the first Puerto Rican-born UFC fighter, and the first to be featured on DWCS.
MELISSA MARTINEZ (STRAWWEIGHT)
Last Fight: Combate 51, 12/7/19, Split Decision
Being undefeated always gives a fighter more attention, especially when eyeing talent for Contender Series. Martinez (7-0 MMA) has 5 wins by KO/TKO and although she won via split decision last time out, she’s a prospect to keep an eye on.
Watch for the kicks, she has a tendency to end fights with her legs. If Dana is looking for some strawweights this season, and more Mexican talent to add to the roster, look no further.
THEO CHRISTAKOS (WELTERWEIGHT)
Last Fight: Australian FC 23, 12/1/19, second-round Submission
Christakos (11-2 MMA) has only seen the judges score cards once in his career. And if we’re being honest, how has this man not been signed to the UFC already? The Australian prospect is a submission threat at all times, having 8 wins via the tap. Theo also usually doesn’t need much time when the cage doors are closed, winning most of his scraps in the first and second rounds.
Again, if we’re going to be giving opportunities to guys with lengthier records, then Christakos should get one too.
ANTHONY IVY (WELTERWEIGHT)
Last Fight: WXC 82, 9/25/19, fourth-round Submission
Ivy (8-2 MMA) has never seen the judges scorecard. He is on a 5-fight win streak, sparing no opponent. And he’s taking on the best of the best in the welterweight regional division. At some point, he won’t be able to defend either of his belts.
I think it’s time Ivy gets his shot on Season 4 of DWCS. UFC likes to see finishes, with Ivy it’s almost a guarantee.
COLE FERRELL (BANTAMWEIGHT)
Last Fight: Organized Chaos 16, 5/18/19, first-round Submission
8 wins. 8 first-round finishes. It doesn’t get any more exciting than Atlanta’s Ferrell (8-0 MMA). He has a larger than life personality and is hated by many. That seems to be the recipe for someone who brings in views so UFC, here’s your next bantamweight star — Cole Ferrell.
MICHAEL IRIZARRY (LIGHTWEIGHT)
Last Fight: Warrior Games 8, 12/14/19, second-round Submission
Irizarry (11-3 MMA) has finished 9 of his 11 wins, 6 coming by way of submission. Coming off back-to-back submission wins, he makes a good case that he is ready for the call up. And it’s about time UFC and the rest of the MMA world take notice of Puerto Rico’s talent.
Michael is one of the few men that could and should lead the charge for Puerto Rican MMA in the UFC. He has a lengthy record and many impressive wins. Let’s see what he can do on Contender Series.
TJ LARAMIE (FEATHERWEIGHT)
Last Fight: PFC 12, 12/6/19, Unanimous Decision
TJ is an impressive, young 145er that should have gotten an opportunity long ago. At 11-3, he should be undeniable for Season 4. Although Laramie’s last two fights were decision wins, he has 8 finishes on his record, and is getting experience headlining cards on the regional scene with his brother.
Let’s give this Canadian featherweight prospect a shot!
AARON JEFFERY (MIDDLEWEIGHT)
Last Fight: Combat Zone 71, 8/23/19, second-round TKO
Jeffery (7-2 MMA) won his fight after DWCS Season 3 in impressive fashion. He has had trouble getting a fight since, with 3 fights cancelled. His only losses come to Sean Brady and Brendan Allen, who are both doing great things in the UFC currently.
I say we get the first Canadian to fight on Contender Series back this upcoming season and give him another shot. There comes a time where there is nothing much left on the regional scene; Jeffery is a finisher, with 6 of his 7 wins coming via stoppage. He is without a doubt ready for the next level of talent.
JUSTIN GONZALES (FEATHERWEIGHT)
Last Fight: Contender Series 2019, 6/25/19, Unanimous Decision
Unfortunately Gonzalez (10-0 MMA) has not had a fight since DWCS, but not for lack of trying. He had 2 fight opportunities fall through since then, one of them was because they were called up to the UFC for a last minute opportunity. Because of that, UFC should reward Gonzales with a second shot on DWCS.
He won his fight, and although “J-Train” goes to decision often, he’s so damn dominant. If not Contender, it’s time for a call up. Gonzales is one of the best prospects at 145, and there is no question about it.