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Contender Series Week 4 Preview

The fourth edition of Dana White’s 2021 Contender Series goes down on Tuesday, Sept. 21, 2021. Let’s take a look at all five matchups.



The fourth edition of Dana White’s 2021 Contender Series goes down on Tuesday, Sept. 21, 2021, starting at 8 p.m. ET on ESPN+. Last week five more contracts were handed out, totaling 15 on the season. Week 4 will feature ten more fighters looking to earn their UFC contract. From undefeated fighters to DWCS returnees, week 4 has the potential to be the most entertaining week of the season. Let’s take a look at all five matchups and see what the fighters bring to the table.

Jacob Rosales (13-6) vs. Victor Martinez (12-4)

Contender Series week 4 starts with Jacob Rosales vs. Victor Martinez. Both fighters prefer to strike but maintain different styles to find success. At 26 years old, Rosales is an exciting prospect with natural power that flows with his crisp striking. After losing on the Contender Series in 2019, Rosales went 2-1 in LFA to earn another shot. The experience, skills, and heart are there. All Rosales needs is an impressive performance to find himself in the UFC.

On the contrary, Martinez looks to extend his six-win streak. After starting his pro career 0-2, Martinez began to improve tremendously. Martinez found himself with a 6-4 record before winning his last six fights. Martinez has 8 KO/TKOs due to his aggressive pressure and heavy hands. Although most opponents try not to strike with Rosales, Martinez has the tools to find success. Regardless of who wins, Rosales vs. Martinez should be entertaining due to their equal willingness to stay on the feet and exchange combos.

Kleydson Rodrigues (6-1) vs. Santo Curatolo (6-1)

Secondly, Kleydson Rodrigues and Santo Curatolo go toe-to-toe at flyweight. Rodrigues is on a five-win streak dating back to September 2016. He is well-rounded and has a lot of strength compared to most flyweights. Rodrigues main issue is that he has not stayed active enough. After fighting six times in four years, Rodrigues has not fought in two years. Anyhow, he is 25 years old and could do damage in the UFC flyweight division.

Curatolo is a dangerous fighter that always looks for the finish. He has ended all six of his wins with a finish. Curatolo has fought exclusively with CFFC and fought some tough competition along the way. Although his fight style is well-rounded, Curatolo’s aggression has been his key to success. It will be interesting to see how his aggression matches up with Rodrigues’s strength.

Steven Nguyen (7-1) vs. Theo Rlayang (5-0) could be fight of the night at Contender Series week 4

Thirdly, Steven Nguyen appears on DWCS for a second time against Theo Rlayang. Training out of Fortis MMA, Nguyen is one of the most intriguing featherweight prospects around. After compiling a record of 6-0, Nguyen lost on the Contender Series by flying knee. He returned one and a half years later to get one of the best regional knockouts of the year at LFA 101. With five first-round finishes, Nguyen fights explosively with a high fight IQ. Safe to say, he will do whatever it takes to make the best of his second opportunity.

Conversely, Theo Rlayang continues to finish fights and improve. At 27 years old, Rlayang made his pro debut in February 2020. Since then, he has built a 5-0 record with four finishes. The concern for Rlayang is that his opponent’s combined record at the time was 14-25-1. He throws a lot of feints and switches stances a lot to confuse his opponent. Nguyen has been surprised before, and Rlayang has the tools to get the job done. It is hard to see this fight going the distance.

Michael Morales (11-0) vs. Nikolay Veretennikov (9-3)

Fourthly, Michael Morales vs. Nikolay Veretennikov features opponents with a 13 year age difference. Morales comes in as one of the youngest fighters to compete on DWCS. At 21 years old, Morales is 11-0 with 9 KOs/TKOs. His ability to stay patient and use his quick striking has worked wonders for him. Unfortunately, Morales has only been past the second round twice and could have his cardio tested. The key to success will be to control the pace and keep Veretennikov away. Win or lose, Morales has a bright future in the sport of MMA.

Veretennikov has only one more fight but comes in at 34 years old. After starting his pro career 1-3, Veretennikov managed to win eight straight, six by KO/TKO. Veretennikov thrives in close range and manages to create a lot of damage wherever the fight goes. He needs to apply pressure this fight because Morales has struggled on his back foot. His durability should be the biggest concern for Morales.

Hashem Arkhagha (6-0) vs. AJ Dobson (5-0) set to headline Contender Series Week 4

Lastly, Hashem Arkhagha vs. AJ Dobson will end the night with a hard-hitting matchup. Arkhagha comes into this fight 6-0 with six finishes. After starting his pro career 4-0, Arkhagha took off seven years from competition before returning in 2019. Unfortunately, Arkhagaha missed weight by three pounds at the weigh-ins today. Consequently, concerns have arisen over how he will be able to perform. Although he missed weight, Arkhagha still possesses the power to end any fight. In addition, the missed weight may force him to go all-out for an early finish.

Alternatively, Dobson may be the most dangerous fighter on this fight card. Holding a record of 5-0, Dobson has finished three fights by KO/TKO. His powerful striking can KO his opponent in only one punch. At 29 years old, Dobson’s only flaws have been staying consistently active and fighting more experienced opponents. None of that will matter if he can secure his fourth KO/TKO in the main event against Arkhagha.

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Sumo: Terunofuji achieves first undefeated tournament of his career



The Kyushu basho champion Terunofuji confirmed his undefeated 15-0 record with a tough victory over Ozeki Takakeisho in Fukuoka, Japan.

After an exciting tournament that looked like going down to the wire, the fact that the champion was crowned on day 14 took the final day down a notch in terms of excitement. However, there was still a lot to fight for on day 15 of the basho.

The most notable was the Yokozuna’s attempt to achieve a zensho-yusho (undefeated championship) for the first time. His opponent was Takakeisho, the Ozeki who was only ruled out of contention for the championship on day 13. He gave Terunofuji a good fight but in the end was forced out of the dohyo, giving Terunofuji his maiden 15-0. Looking at the competition at the moment, it’s hard to say that this will be his last.

Otherwise, there were lots of rikishi who were sat on 7-7 and the final day would decide if they move up or down in the rankings. Of those, Daieisho, Wakatakakage, Endo and Chiyomaru were successful, finishing their tournaments on 8-7. Ishiura, Tobizaru, Keisei, Chiyoshoma and Hidenoumi were all defeated on the final day and finish on 7-8. Kaisei’s status in the top division is looking in danger as he is already in the bottom M17 rank.

At the end of the basho, the Sumo Association gives out awards for fighting spirit and skill. Abi and Takanosho were awarded fighting spirit prizes and Ura was awarded the prize for showing his considerable sumo skill.

Back left to right: Terunofuji with his championship trophy, Abi with his fighting spirit award. Front left to right: Takanosho with his fighting spirit award and Ura with his skill award.

That brings an exciting basho to an end! Look for more articles over the coming days/weeks which will compile the best matches and finishes from the Kyushu Tournament! To finish, here is the final standings for those who reached double figures in the Kyushu basho.

Terunofuji (Y) 15-0

Takakeisho (O) 12-3

Abi (M15) 12-3

Mitakeumi (S) 11-4

Takanosho (M2) 11-4

Hokutofuji (M12) 11-4

Ura (M7) 10-5

Stick with VMTV for Sumo news between now and the next basho. The VMTV Sumo guide can be found here.

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Sumo: Kyushu Tournament Day 14 – Can Terunofuji seal the championship?



The penultimate day of the Kyushu tournament gives Terunofuji the chance to take glory as the 13-0 wrestler takes on his nearest challenger Abi who is on 12-1.

Before we dive into day 14, lets see how the leaderboard has developed since the last article. Abi faced Takakeisho yesterday in a battle between two wrestlers with 11-1 records. The former won the battle to move on to 12-1 in his first top division appearance since his suspension. Takakeisho moved to 11-2 and only has an outside chance of being involved in a playoff. Ura, in fourth place and the only other man to hit double figures so far, has no chance of winning the tournament as he sits on 10-3. Here is the top of the table at the end of day 13;

Terunofuji (Y) 13-0

Abi (M15) 12-1

Takakeisho (O) 11-2

Ura (M7) 10-3

Day 14

Day 14 promises to be full of action and drama as the top two men, Terunofuji and Abi finally face each other. If Terunofuji wins it, then he will take the tournament victory with an uncatchable 14 wins. 9 fighters on 7 defeats will be looking to avoid a losing record and both Endo and Chiyoshoma were looking to secure their winning records. Let’s see what went down on the penultimate day of the last tournament of the year.

It was an intense matchup between Yokozuna Terunofuji and Abi. Abi used his pushing and thrusting technique to great effect to back Terunofuji against the rope, but the big Yokozuna held on and managed to fend off the attack, finishing Abi with an oshitaoshi. Terunofuji moves to 14-0 and HE IS THE KYUSHU TOURNAMENT CHAMPION. He wins his 6th title, can he go 15-0 for the first time? It’s hard to see any other result.

Such is the nature of a league-style tournament like this, at day 14 there are quite a few dead-rubber matches. Lots of wrestlers have already confirmed winning or losing records and are fighting for pride alone. However, aside from the championship race, there was still a lot to play for on the dohyo.

There was a showdown between the two Ozeki ranked fighters, Shodai and Takakeisho. Until yesterday’s defeat to Abi, Takakeisho was in with a chance of the title win. The disappointment of defeat didn’t seem to affect him though, as he beat Ozeki Shodai with ease. Shodai is not fighting like an Ozeki of late but is continuing to achieve winning records to maintain his rank. Can Takakeisho make another run on the Yokozuna rank in 2022?

Chiyoshoma produced a nice uwatenage finish to achieve winning record against Yutakayama. Out of all the wrestlers on 7 defeats, only Okinoumi and Yutakama confirmed their losing records, with their defeats to Ishiura and Chiyoshoma. It means there are many fighters left on 7-7 records, and so there it lots to play for on the final day.

Takanosho, Hokutofuji and Mitakeumi all managed to achieve double figures as they each improved their records to 10-4. Ura, who had a 10-3 record going into day 14, was defeated by Meisei and is the fourth man on 10-4. Both Komosubis were defeated as Ichinojo went down to Hokutofuji and Kiribayama to the young star Hoshoryu.

Full Results

Winners in italics, record after day 14 shown

Keisei (M17e) 7-7 vs Chiyonokuni (M14w) 8-6 – Oshidashi

Kotonowaka (M11e) 6-8 vs Tochinoshin (M13w) 6-5-3 – Yorikiri

Akua (M16e) 8-6 vs Terutsuyoshi (M11w) 6-8 – Shitatenage

Chiyotairyu (M10e) 6-8 vs Shohozan (M17w) 3-11 – Tsukidashi

Aoiyama (M9e) 4-10 vs Chiyomaru (M15e) 7-7 – Hatakikomi

Sadanoumi (M16w) 8-6 vs Tobizaru (M8w) 7-7 – Hikiotoshi

Yutakayama (M13e) 6-8 vs Chiyoshoma (M7w) 8-6 – Uwatenage

Shimanoumi (M6e) 5-9 vs Kagayaki (M14e) 4-10 – Tsukidashi

Takarafuji (M4e) 5-9 vs Kotoeko (M8e) 3-11 – Oshidashi

Okinoumi (M3e) 6-8 vs Ishiura (M12e) 7-7 – Yorikiri

Onosho (M2e) 5-9 vs Myogiryu (M3w) 2-12 – Hatakikomi

Hidenoumi (M9w) 8-6 vs Takanosho (M2w) 10-4 – Yorikiri

Daieisho (M1e) 7-7 vs Takayasu (M5e) 5-9 – Tsukiotoshi

Endo (M4w) 7-7 vs Wakatakakage (M1w) 7-7 – Yorikiri

Ichinojo (Ke) 5-9 vs Hokutofuji (M12w) 10-4 – Tsukiotoshi

Hoshoryu (M5w) 6-8 vs Kiribayama (Kw) 5-9 – Yorikiri

Mitakeumi (Se) 10-4 vs Tamawashi (M6w) 9-5 – Hatakikomi

Ura (M7e) 10-4 vs Meisei (Sw) 6-8 – Oshidashi

Shodai (Oe) 9-5 vs Takakeisho (Ow) 12-2 – Tsukidashi

Terunofuji (Ye) 14-0 vs Abi (M15w) 12-2 – Oshitaoshi

Watch the matches from today here. Find the VMTV Sumo Guide here. Stay with us to find out what happens on day 15!

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ONE: NEXTGEN III Final Weight and Hydration Results



ONE Championship™ (ONE) today released the ONE: NEXTGEN III Final Weight and Hydration Results. In todays event, former UFC athlete Jarred Brooks squares off against Lito Adiwang in a highly anticipated strawweight match-up which could see the victor earn a spot in the divisional rankings. A Bantamweight Muay Thai bout between Alaverdi Ramazanov and Pongsiri PK.Saenchai Muaythaigym will take place as the co-main event.

ONE: NEXTGEN III Final Weight and Hydration Results

Mixed Martial Arts – Strawweight (52.3 KG – 56.7 KG)
Lito Adiwang (56.70 KG, 1.0053) vs. Jarred Brooks (56.00 KG, 1.0027)

Muay Thai – Bantamweight (61.3 KG – 65.8 KG)
Alaverdi Ramazanov (65.55 KG, 1.0207) vs. Pongsiri PK.Saenchai Muaythaigym (65.80 KG, 1.0244)

Mixed Martial Arts – Strawweight (52.3 KG – 56.7 KG)
Alex Silva (56.70 KG, 1.0103) vs. Rene Catalan (56.60 KG, 1.0066)

Kickboxing – Flyweight (56.8 KG – 61.2 KG)
Panpayak Jitmuangnon (61.20 KG, 1.0160) vs. Daniel Puertas (61.20 KG, 1.0168)

Mixed Martial Arts – Lightweight (70.4 KG – 77.1 KG)
Pieter Buist (77.10 KG, 1.0222) vs. Ruslan Emilbek Uulu (76.40 KG, 1.0070)

Kickboxing – Bantamweight (61.3 KG – 65.8 KG)
Felipe Lobo (65.60 KG, 1.0156) vs. Rodlek PK.Saenchai Muaythaigym (65.80 KG, 1.0078)

Hydration values less than or equal to 1.0250 earn a passing mark, while values greater than or equal to 1.0251 earn a failing mark. Athletes who failed weight and hydration tests on Day 1 or Day 2 are given another chance to clear tests on the morning of the event.

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