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Season 3 of Dana White’s Contender Series has been viewed as a success thus far. Beyond young prospects realizing their dreams of securing Ultimate Fighting Championship contracts, it seems like something noteworthy happens during every episode. Week 7 resulted in two submissions, an upset knockout, a back-and-forth battle and an absolute robbery.
The show returns for Episode 8 on Tuesday at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas, as 10 more prospective mixed martial artists seek their breakthrough. A closer look:
Reed enters his second stint on DWCS with a 6-1 record, his lone loss coming at the hands of Cameron Olson on Season 1. Since the defeat, “No Worries” has rattled off four straight victories. He reportedly turned down an opportunity to fight on Season 2, electing instead to polish him game further with his primary training partner: former UFC welterweight title challenger Stephen Thompson. Reed is a long and lengthy light heavyweight who stands 6-foot-3 and has a 77-inch reach. He fights similar to “Wonderboy,” as he also comes with a karate background attached. He tends to have a wide base, keeping his hands low and his chin high. He throws a crisp jab and has some nice timing and power in his right hand. He can land punches while backing away from his opponent. The best weapons for Reed are his knees in the clinch and kicks; in fact, he has floored several opponents with perfectly placed high kicks. Reed fights best when he turns up the volume on his strikes, but he often decides to fight at a slow pace, throwing single strikes instead of combinations. The 30-year-old is a good wrestler -- he was a college teammate of Corey Anderson -- and currently serves as a coach for the Limestone College wrestling team in Gaffney, South Carolina. Reed can land takedowns from close quarters and from a distance. The Upstate Karate team member secures many of his takedowns by shooting when his opponent presses forward with an attack. When on top, Reed looks to control instead of snatching a submission. He has surprisingly been taken down by less accomplished wrestlers in the past.
The similarities between Anglickas and Reed are readily apparent. The Lithuanian also has a 6-1 record, stands 6-foot-3 with a 77-inch reach and suffered his only defeat to Olson. The 28-year-old has delivered all his wins by stoppage and is riding a five-fight winning streak. He is the current Legacy Fighting Alliance light heavyweight titleholder. The former Golden Gloves boxing champion is a savvy striker whose constant forward movement forces opponents to fight off their back foot. He has a stinging jab and a powerful check hook. He often can be too patient by throwing one single strike at a time and looking to end the fight with a perfectly placed power shot. The Lithuanian does a good job of mixing up his strikes with step-in knees to the body. The St. Charles MMA product is a strong wrestler who used to compete at the collegiate level. Anglickas will shoot on his opponents’ hips when he forces them against the cage. Once he gets the fight to the canvas, he does a solid job of advancing to more dominant positions and often looks to climb to the mount. Once he reaches his desired destination, he pummels his adversary with a flurry of punishing shots. He forces his opponents to give up their backs instead of being clubbed with strikes, leaving him an opening to sink rear-naked choke -- a method by which he has finished three of his last four bouts. If the European fighter gets taken down himself, he has struggled to work back to his feet.
Anglickas might hold a slight technical advantage on the feet, but Reed’s kicking game seems to be becoming more dangerous with each outing. Expect both fighters to have their moments in the fight, but Reed’s experience in front of the UFC brass should provide him with the edge he needs. In a back-and-forth battle, Reed ekes out a close split decision but fails to secure a spot on the UFC roster.
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