Maheshate Makes History; 2 Contracts Awarded in DWCS Season 5 Finale
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Two Ultimate Fighting Championship contracts were handed out during the final Dana White's Contender Series event of Season 5. Joining the leading mixed martial arts promotion is lightweight Maheshate and the undefeated welterweight Yohan Lainesse, who both impressed UFC head honcho Dana White.
The card was headlined by a lightweight battle between Maheshate and Achilles Estremadura, who walked in with an undefeated record seven bouts into his career. Both men came out firing and it was Maheshate (6-1) that rocked his unbeaten opponent just seconds into the bout. However, Estremadura stayed composed and was able to land damaging combinations for the rest of the round. However, Maheshate landed a huge jumping knee in the second frame that hurt the Canadian and stole the round. The third round was back-and-forth with both men having their moments, although Maheshate landed the more impressive bouts and earned three 29-28 scorecards.
With the victory, Maheshate becomes the first Chinese fighter to win a DWCS match and earns a shot in the UFC, while Estremadura drops to 7-1.
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The co-main event saw a clash between unbeaten welterweights Lainesse and Justin Burlinson. Lainesse (8-0) stayed undefeated by knocking out Burlinson (6-1) with a giant left hook that finished the fight. The knockout came at just 1:37 of the first frame. The performance was impressive enough to earn the Canadian a contract.
The second flyweight bout of the card saw Lun Qiu face off against Erisson Ferreira da Silva. The fight was all action early as Qiu (13-8) managed to land damaging blows early on and scored a few knockdowns. However, da Silva (11-1) managed to finish Round 1 strong and carried over that momentum into the second frame, although the action naturally slowed a bit. Both men left it all in the cage in a frantic final frame that saw da Silva threaten with a guillotine choke as time expired. The judges rewarded the hard work of da Silva with three 29-28 scorecards in his favor.
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In a featherweight contest, Jonas Bilharinho managed to best Canaan Kawaihae. After a slow first round, the action continued on the feet until a double low blow brought both men to knees. After the fight was restarted, Kawaihae (6-2, 1 NC) had a renewed vigor and started picking up the pace. However, the final round saw Bilharinho (9-1-1) begin to land powerful blows and wound up landing a gorgeous spinning heel kick that knocked out Kawaihae with just a minute left of Round 3. However, White wasn't impressed with Bilharinho's performance prior to the KO and no UFC contract was given out.
Week 10 opened with a flyweight bout between China's Zhifa Shang and Juan Puerta. The opening round was a grappling-heavy affair that saw Puerta (23-6) get top position for most of the frame. Round 2 was much more back-and-forth as both Shang (32-8) and "Leadfeather" managed to take each other's backs and put the other in danger. The final frame was spent on the feet with Shang landing the sharper strikes. After three rounds of action, the judges favored the grappling of Puerta, who took home a split decision with scores of 29-28, 28-29 and 29-28.