Dana White’s Contender collection started in 2017. Since then, the Contender line has produced some big names such as Dan Ige, Sean O’Malley, Geoff Neal, Maycee Barber and Edmen Shahbazyan. In short, it was a huge success. The Contenders series has a different stake, and fighters have to show their skills to impress the UFC president enough to sign a contract with the promotional giant. Holding a contestant series in a smaller cage inside the UFC Apex venue creates a tense atmosphere, with only close friends and family members of the contestants in attendance as spectators. Emotions are always high because a limited number of contracts can be issued on any given night, and many fighters may have their dreams snubbed simply because of bad luck. On rare occasions, however, fighters will take another look. This series will examine these.
Ellison “Gato” Ferreira (11-1 MMA)
age: 31 years old
high: 5’6″ / arrival: 70”
Weight class: Flyweight (125 lbs)
Battle of First DW’s Contenders Series: 2021, Week 10
Old DW’s Contenders Series Opponents: Qiulun Qiu (16-8 mixed martial arts)
2nd DW’s Contenders Series Battle: 2022, week 5
New opponent: Jesus Santos Aguilar (7-1 MMA)
First DWCS battle
In his first appearance at Contender Seires, Erisson Ferreira had a very interesting and competitive race. Ferreira’s performance showed a lot of what Dana White likes to see in the Contenders series: always up the pace, aggressive hitting and activity on the ground.
Before this fight, all Erisson wins were KO/TKO.
The first round was a barn burner that saw Ferreira fall off his opponent’s clean left hand. Fortunately, Erisson was able to survive and get back on his feet, where he was able to land a hard combination of his own that stunned his opponent and threw him to the canvas. Ferreira is able to pounce on his enemies and hold his position until the end of the round.
In the second round, the fighting pace of both players slowed down significantly, while Ferreira’s opponent was very focused on kicking the ball. Ferreira’s opponent again sent Ellison to the side of the cage with a slam.
At the start of the final round, there were a couple of foot swaps before Erisson was able to secure a knockout. Ferreira’s opponent tried to surrender, and Ellison tried several times of his own, before a guillotine deeply suffocated before the final horn.
Ellison won by unanimous decision (29-28, x3) but was not awarded a contract.
First Contenders Series Rival
Ericsson’s first competitor series rival Qiu Qiulun It was 15-7 going into their bout. Qiu was only 24 years old at the time, and while he played very well, 1-2, he was still a bit young in their Contenders series.
The combined record of the opponents Qiu Qiulun has faced so far is 79-31.
Qiulun has won 1 game since facing Ferreira last year. The victory came from UFC Road: Singapore – Episode 2, where he won the decision 8-1, Valen del Rosario.
Ferreira’s win over Qiu was definitely a game that was ripe for continued good form.
thoriumThe way back
It’s been less than a year since Ellison fought back in his first Contenders series last November.
Ellison has not competed in any professional MMA competition since then, although one of his bouts has been canceled Danilo Adreni (10-3) Brazil Fighting Series 7, back in March.
Game plan / new opponents
In Erisson Ferreira’s second shot in the Contenders series, he will take on the 26-year-old, Jesus Santos Aguilar.
Five of Aguilar’s seven professional MMA career victories came by surrender. It looks like Aguilar’s preferred submission is the guillotine choke, as he has completed three of his five submission victories.
Aguilar has only fought eight fights in his professional MMA career and is still young. Ellison should have a good chance of ending the fight with Aguilar’s more ground specialists with his explosiveness and heavy hands.
The Redemption fighters for the 2022 season are now 4-0, with all fighters on UFC contracts.
Can Erisson Ferreira keep the redemption fighter in the Contender Series undefeated and impressed to win a UFC contract?