Dana White’s Contender Series ‘Week 7’ Play-by-Play & Results

By Mike Sloan Aug 22, 2017

Dana White's Tuesday Night Contender Series: Week 7 play-by-play kicks off Tuesday at 8 p.m. ET from the UFC Training Center in Las Vegas.

Check out the MMA Forums to discuss the card or enter your comments and predictions below.

Jordan Espinosa vs. Nick Urso

Round 1

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Espinosa choked Urso out cold.
Mark Smith is the referee for this flyweight battle between two New Mexico-based rivals. Apparently these guys don’t like each other at all. The two come right to the center of the cage and gun for the KO, but nothing lands cleanly from either. Espinosa fends off a single-leg attempt and shoves Urso to the mat. Urso turtles but before he can spring to his feet, Espinosa dives onto him and locks up a D’Arce. It is deep and the Jackson-Wink fighter is in serious peril. Urso rolls the wrong way and goes to sleep.



The Official Result

Jordan Espinosa def. Nick Urso via Technical Submission (D’Arce Choke) R1, 1:23

Mark Cherico vs. Mike Santiago

Round 1

(+ Enlarge) | Screencap: Mike Fridley/Sherdog.com

Santiago made quick work of Cherico.
“Big” John McCarthy is the third man in the cage and Cherico begins the match with a quick takedown. Santiago thinks guillotine on the way down, but Cherico fends it off. After the ensuing scramble, Mark seizes his foe’s back, but nothing comes from it and they reset in the center of the cage. Santiago stalks the slightly shorter man and lands a few punches, but Cherico ties him up. From there, Santiago presses him into the cage, but he can’t keep him there. Santiago drills his opponent with a sizzling left elbow to the side of the head, but Cherico shakes it off. A huge volley of punches from Santiago rattles Cherico, who backs into the fence. Santiago closes the show with a monster of a right uppercut to the jaw, which sends Cherico down hard onto his back. McCarthy immediately intervenes while Cherico protests, but it was a justified stoppage.

The Official Result

Mike Santiago def. Mark Cherico via TKO (Punches) R1, 2:59

J.P. Buys vs. Joby Sanchez

Round 1

Mark Smith is the ref for this flyweight battle and Sanchez comes right at Buys until he eats a straight right. Buy ducks under a punch, scoops Sanchez up and suplexes him hard onto his back. Sanchez scrambles to his feet, but he’s taken right back down. Sanchez remains calm, sweeps the South African and springs back to his feet, where he presses him into the cage. Buys is dragged to the canvas and Sanchez begins slamming some punches and elbows onto his foe’s shoulders. Buys battles back to his feet, sucks Sanchez down but Joby hits the switch to reverse position immediately. Buys climb onto his opponent’s back and from there, Sanchez stands up and walks across the Octagon to his corner. J.P. is fishing for the rear-naked choke but the Albuquerque fighter fends it off. Sanchez eventually shakes him off and tosses him down, only to be threatened by an armbar at the horn. It’s a close round but Buys gets it 10-9.

Round 2

(+ Enlarge) | Screencap: Mike Fridley/Sherdog.com

Sanchez beat Buys down.
The two collide in the center of the cage and Sanchez scores a takedown. From there, Sanchez is on top in Buys’ guard, but he’s having a hard time passing to either side. Buys is starting to look a little fatigued early in the frame. Sanchez moves to mount and lands a few punches after he misses a choke attempt. Buys rolls over onto his stomach, but it allows Sanchez to rain down punches until Smith stops it.



The Official Result

Joby Sanchez def. J.P. Buys via TKO (Punches) R2, 2:28

Benito Lopez vs. Steven Peterson

Round 1

McCarthy is the man in charge of this bantamweight bout. Peterson comes out of his corner like a storm and they are trading bombs right off the bat. Lopez lands a body kick just before McCarthy warns them both keeping their hands open during strikes. They trade blows again but Peterson dives in and scores a takedown. Lopez powers back to his feet, but the Dallas fighter is all over him. Lopez crashes a few knees to his foe’s face during the clinch, which causes a separation and another wild exchange on the feet. Benito lands a right to the nose and then another knee; Peterson is pouring blood from his nose. A hard overhand right to the ear from Lopez rocks Peterson briefly, but he quickly regroups and charges right at Benito. Blood is coming from Peterson’s mouth now and he’s cut above his right eye. Lopez is busting him up on the feet from a distance and then connects with a partially-blocked left head kick. Lopez slows down a little to fight at a more measured pace and it suits him well; he is picking Peterson apart. Peterson decides to tie his opponent up at the end but Lopez clearly wins the frame. 10-9 Lopez

Round 2

Peterson comes out of his corner like a man on fire but he runs into a front kick to the gut. Peterson charges in, changes levels and runs into a knee, but it doesn’t stop him from scoring the takedown. Lopez springs back up to his feet but the Fortis MMA fighter is pressing him into the fence. Peterson wants nothing to do with striking from a distance as he continues to force the Team Alpha Male fighter into the cage. Finally, Peterson drags this fight to the ground and lands in Lopez’ half guard. Peterson is fishing for an arm-triangle but Lopez sees it coming and defends it. Peterson slams down a few left elbows from on top and then slides to his left to side control. Lopez can’t buck hard enough to shrimp out as Peterson is pressing all his weight onto him. Steven connects with a few more elbows to the head as Peterson evens the score. 10-9 Peterson

Round 3

(+ Enlarge) | Screencap: Mike Fridley/Sherdog.com

Lopez edged Peterson on the cards.
The winner of this round wins the fight. Peterson misses a right to the head and then eats a few jabs for his effort. Peterson opts to forget that striking stuff and dives in for a double-leg. Lopez stuffs it, but Peterson has him crushed into the fence. Lopez powers himself free of the clinch and resets to the center of the cage. Lopez fires off a series of jabs and then a left kick to the ribs. The Team Alpha Male fighter is on his wheels, keeping Peterson away with his jab and movement. A double jab, followed by a straight right to the jaw from Lopez. From there, Benito slams a few more punches into his foe’s head and Peterson’s legs buckle. Lopez backs away but he continues to pepper the Dallas fighter with jabs. Peterson keeps pressing forward and when Benito backs into the cage, he ties him up. With 90 seconds left, it’s still anybody’s fight. Peterson goes for the single and tries to drag his opponent down, but Lopez is too sly and thwarts it. They swing wildly upon separation and go toe-to-toe for the final few seconds. 10-9 Lopez

The Official Result

Benito Lopez def. Steven Peterson via Split Decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28) R3, 5:00

Anton Berzin vs. Kennedy Nzechukwu

Round 1

Mark Smith is the third man for this light heavyweight bout, the main event. A low kick sweeps out Nzechukwu’s legs and he is down. The Nigerian pops right back up and regroups. Berzin launches a powerful straight right but he misses. “The Body Snatcher” slams a leg kick onto Nzechukwu and then pops him with an overhand right up top. Berzin lands a few more leg kicks but his punches to the head are just missing by a few inches. Nzechukwu continues to keep his chin way up in the air when he comes in, which could be catastrophic. The Ukraine native eats a left hook as he dives in and takes Nzechukwu down. The TUF 19 veteran moves to side control and wraps up a D’Arce and it’s tight. Nzechukwu powers out of it and scrambles to his feet, but Berzin slams his left shin into the Dallas-based fighter’s ribs. A straight right to the jaw drops Nzechukwu, but he springs back to his feet and retreats. Nzechukwu throws a volley of punches but they all come up short at the end of the round. 10-9 Berzin

Round 2

“The African Savage” slowly stalks Berzin to begin the frame, pawing with his jab. Berzin is moving away, looking for the spots to counter. Nzechukwu slams his foot deep into Berzin’s belly and then backs off. Berzin is coy early as Nzechukwu sizes him up with jabs. Nzechukwu’s jab is working nicely now and his follow-up straight left is off by inches. Berzin is completely unable to get inside for a takedown and is just out of reach to land any counters. Berzin shoots in for a takedown, but the Nigerian easily sprawls to prevent it. The action has slowed considerably but Nzechukwu has taken over the fight completely with his one-two combos. 10-9 Nzechukwu

Round 3

(+ Enlarge) | Screencap: Mike Fridley/Sherdog.com

Nzechukwu took a split decision from Berzin.
Both corners are imploring their men to go for broke and let everything go. Berzin comes forward early, eats a few jabs and then shoots in for a takedown. Nzechukwu stuffs the attempt and separates to the center of the cage. Berzin shoots in again, misses it, then shoots again. Nzechukwu prevents them both, pops back up and forces “The Body Snatcher” to regroup. Nzechukwu pops his smaller opponent with a series of jabs, but there is no power behind any of them. Berzin is starting to gas out with half the round remaining. Berzin misses a sloppy, exhausted takedown attempt but Nzechukwu just looks at him; he doesn’t capitalize on his opponent’s conditioning. A hard left to the head staggers Berzin with 90 seconds left; Berzin is gassed out and ready to go. Nzechukwu plays it safe before opening a nice five-punch combo upstairs. Berzin slides to his side to escape the punishment and shoots in, but he misses badly. 10-9 Nzechukwu

The Official Result

Kennedy Nzechukwu def. Anton Berzin via Split Decision (29-27, 28-29, 29-27) R3, 5:00

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