We are back guys with another week of Dana White’s Contender Series action!
If you kept up with the first half of Season 4, then you are in for a treat in the next several weeks. There will be a lot of fighters who won contracts a few months ago that will be fighting at the end of this month as well as in December.
This weekend, we get to see one of the “sweethearts” from Season 4, Cory McKenna, get her first official UFC fight but she will have her hands full with grappling ace, Kay Hansen.
I watched Cory’s fight with my mother and she fell in love with the soft spoken but ferocious fighter from Wales. She asked when she was fighting next and when I saw Kay Hansen, I didn’t have the heart to tell ma dukes that her new favorite fighter will probably lose.
This week, on the Contender Series, we get to see some more solid prospects and future UFC fighters. One of my former training partners in Las Vegas, Natan Levy of Israel, is taking a Contender Series fight on just two days notice!
Two of his teammates, Sherrard Blackledge and Jordan Leavitt, both got their wins earlier in the season. Natan will be fighting this one at a catchweight of 160 pounds since the fight is on such short notice.
He usually competes at 145 but is a physical specimen and he will have increased strength and power at this weight.
BetOnline.AG has some valuable odds on a few of these fights. Let’s take a look at some of those worth our time and money.
Nikolas Mota (-137) vs Joe Lowry (+110)
Nikolas Mota is a good kickboxer from Brazil. He is 11-3 in his professional mixed martial arts career thus far and 14 total fights is pretty good for the Contender Series.
The 27-year-old lightweight trains out of Ricardo Almeida BJJ in New Jersey.
Most all of the New York and New Jersey guys have spent a lot of time at his gym including Mark Henry’s squad and the Serra/Longo team out on Strong Island as well.
Nikolas’s last two fights have been under the CFFC promotion which is pretty solid. It isn’t on the level of LFA but for the east coast, it’s #1. I have cornered some guys for this promotion and they have some of the most skilled fighters from DC, Philly, NY, and Jersey.
He knocked out current UFC fighter, Joe Solecki, in his first fight in the US. The Brazilian has some power.
His opponent, Joe Lowry, is a striking based fighter as well so expect fireworks early and often in this one. Many folks are expecting this one to end within the 15 allotted minutes. Unfortunately, the sportsbooks overwhelmingly agree.
Let’s pick a side, then.
You can now get Joe Lowry at (+180) and considering he is a power striker, the fight will likely play out on the feet, and Mota has been KO’ed in the first round twice, I believe we have to go with the value here.
Joseph Lowry did compete on Dana White’s Contender Series already but he was finished by strikes by Devonte Smith.
The value is on the dog here. Two strikers with power who live and die by the sword. We are getting (+170) on one of them so that’s the pick.
Natan Levy (-130) vs Shaheen Santana (+110)
As I mentioned, Natan is taking this fight on extremely short notice and up a weight class.
In cases like this, we have to ask ourselves what the betting line would be if he had had a full camp. I would say at least (-250). Shaheen Santana is a decent fighter and Levy is going to have to be careful shooting in.
Shaheen is 6’1” with a 75” reach so he will have the edge there but I have spent hours sparring with this kid and he has some of the best kicks I have ever seen.
I do have to admit that Levy, who is a Karate and Kung Fu based striker at his base, has had to utilize his wrestling chops more often than not. I’m 6’1 and so is Sherrard and at Syndicate, Natan has had the pleasure of sparring with probably 100 UFC guys in his career.
I’m glad he is taking it on short notice because I know he keeps himself in peak condition and he knew this call was coming soon. (-130) is a gift!
The Contender Series is a lot of fun!
People sleep on it and just think that these are low level fighters who can’t get into the UFC otherwise. That couldn’t be farther from the truth.
There is also the fact that a decision win will probably help your record but not get you a contract. Dana is like “fan me” who loves the fighters who go all out for the finish even if it means they are risking the win.
“Fan me” is not the voice I listen to in my head when it comes time to make a prediction, though.
Guys who take too many chances aren’t the surest bets. Are they fun to watch? Sure, but unless you like losing hair and getting more gray in your beard like me, then stick to the lay and prayers of the MMA world.
- I love Natan here in this spot. I think he probably cuts too much weight anyway and is a bit slow for 145 so he may be a better lightweight than featherweight.
- As for the bet on Lowry, I wouldn’t go higher than 1 unit. I think it’s more of a 55/45 fight for Mota but we have a decent edge of nearly 10% on the sportsbooks.
Pros bet the number not the fighter/team.
Get the bets in now and enjoy the scraps!