Five fighters earned UFC contracts on Week 6 of Season 7 of DWCS, and even three fighters who lost their bouts took home their win money for gutsy efforts.
UFC CEO Dana White called Tuesday’s event the “best night of the season,” and with action-packed fights and finishes, it wasn’t hard to see why. Among those to earn contracts: James Llontop, Jhonata Diniz, Steven Nguyễn, Julia Polastri and Jean Matsumoto.
Kasey Tanner, Ạ.J. Cunningham and Patricia Alujas were the trio to receive their win money despite losses, though contracts evaded them on the show at UFC APEX in Las Vegas.
Llontop batters tough Lewis
James Llontop’s straight punches and crisp technique carried the day versus the risk-taker Malik Lewis in the night’s final bout. In the first round, it was an elbow off the clinch that staggered Lewis. In the second, it was a body kick that sent him into survival mode. And in the third, it was a step-in elbow that twice dropped Lewis, who was tough enough to survive, but not enough to prevent two 30-26 scores to go with a 30-27 shutout.
Diniz shuts off wild Neves
Former kickboxing champ Jhonata Diniz had his hands full with Eduardo Neves, whose big stature belied an insanely fast jab and explosive sneak attacks. Diniz stalked his opponent, undeterred, until he landed a right hand that forced Neves to take a knee. For a second, it looked like Neves might survive as he chased Diniz across the cage with several wild shots. But he walked into a right hand that knocked him out cold, and it was a wrap at 3:15 of the first round.
Nguyen stops Cunningham standing
Steven Nguyen needed referee Mark Smith to save A.J. Cunningham – twice – in his third-time’s-a-charm showing. Nguyen’s jab battered Cunningham before a right hand dropped the Bryce Mitchell training partner cold in the last second of the first round. The bell saved Cunningham, but he was on borrowed time when the second round began, and Nguyen closed out the deal with a flurry of punches that forced the standing TKO stoppage.
Polastri shows off mean streak against Alujas
In her second DWCS appearance, Julia Polastri gleefully walked down Patricia Alujas, slugging it out on the feet before going full Matt Hughes and walking her opponent across the cage to slam her down in front of White. Not content to hold position, Polastri pounded Alujas at her back until the choke presented itself, and at 4:05 of the second round, she was the winner by submission.
Matsumoto and Tanner slug it out
It was three rounds of nonstop action between bantamweights Jean Matsumoto and Kasey Tanner, and while Tanner did his best to keep up on the feet, it was only on the mat where he held any significant advantages. Otherwise, Matsumoto spent most of the fight in control in striking, landing hard leg kicks that turned Tanner’s left leg into a swollen mess. Judges gave Matsumoto the unanimous call by scores of 30-27 and 29-28 twice.
Full DWCS Season 7, Week 6 results:
James Llontop def. Malik Lewis via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-26, 30-26)
Jhonata Diniz def. Eduardo Neves via TKO (punch) – Round 1, 3:15
Steven Nguyễn def. Ạ.J. Cunningham via TKO (punches) – Round 2, 4:06
Julia Polastri def. Patricia Alujas via submission (rear-naked choke) – Round 2, 4:05
Jean Matsumoto def. Kasey Tanner via unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28)