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DWCS Season 5, Week 7: Hadley earns UFC contract despite missing weight

Strawweights: Maria Silva defeated Kathryn Paprocki via unanimous decision (30–27, 30–27, 30–27)

Paprocki is a LFA vet and won her last fight with a R3 choke submission. Silva, on the other hand, was on six-fight win-streak going into this.

Silva used a bodylock early on to pin Paprocki against the cage. Silva had full control, but she also didn’t advance her position at all. Once they broke, Silva connected with some great combos, but Paprocki popped Silva a few times during the exchange as well. 

Paprocki was more aggressive coming into R2 but Silva’s kicks continued to be powerful and on the money. Silva again clinched Paprocki against the cage and scored a trip takedown before Paprocki escaped from side-mount down on the mat. Paprocki went for a trip of her own but missed. Silva scored another trip and found herself on top in full mount immediately. Silva took Paprocki’s back and locked on a brutal facelock but Paprocki escaped to top position and survived until the end of the round.

When they flashed the striking scorecard at the top of R3, Silva looked to have outscored Paprocki by almost double the amount of strikes in total. She scored her third trip takedown midway through, and again took Paprocki’s back and went for a rear naked choke, but Paprocki was scrappy in her defense and again survived until the end of the fight. Paprocki stood up, finally, but there were only 0:11 seconds to go in the round; too little, too late. 

Silva earned the unanimous decision with a score of 30–27 across the board. Silva was impressive, and her kickboxing and muay thai was on point, but her game isn’t perfect yet, especially on the ground, where twice she couldn’t finish Paprocki from the back position. Paprocki was tough, but it wasn’t enough here. Silva remains undefeated at 7–0.

Lightweights: Viacheslav Borshcev defeated Chris Duncan via TKO (punches, 0:32 R2)

This was hands-down the fight of the night.

 

R1 was wild. Both felt each other out to start, both landed a few jabs. Borshcev connected with a number of snappy jabs and had Duncan bloodied from the nose. Borshchev’s counter-boxing was beautiful. His shot really started to connect halfway through the round. At one point, it sounded like referee Mark Smith was ready to stop the fight when he shouted at Duncan to defend himself after Borshchev had landed a liver kick. Duncan survived a barrage of strikes and took Borshchev down with a double-leg, but the two were back on their feet moments later. Duncan landed a big knee; Borshchev answered with a rolling koppu kick, or rolling thunder, which we don’t see often in MMA. It didn’t fully connect but it looked really cool. Duncan landed a hard low kick that knocked Borshcev down briefly in the last few seconds;  Borshcev stood right up and landed a few more punches before the end of the round. 

Early in R2, Duncan went for a spinning roundhouse kick but whiffed, and he paid for it, dearly: Borshcev used a perfect step-back left hook to knock Duncan out cold. Mark Smith stopped the fight immediately. Duncan, who didn’t know the fight had been stopped, tried fighting Smith. Borshcev celebrated by doing the Russian Soldier’s Dance in the middle of the ring. He gave Valentina Shcevchenko a run for her money with that one.

Flyweights: Jake Hadley defeated Mitch Raposo via submission (rear facelock, 3:11 R2)

Hadley missed weight by two pounds coming into this, but he’s had MMA experts like Fight Game’s Ryan Frederick singing his praises ahead of the fight.

He landed a stiff body kick in the first couple seconds. Sanko described him as a “bully fighter” and we saw that early on as he pressured Raposo around the cage. Raposo dodged a punch, then took Hadley down with a nice double-leg. Hadley transitioned to an omoplata on the ground, then a gogoplata attempt. After finding his composure towards the end of the round and connecting with a handful of strikes, he took Hadley down one more time before the end of the round. 

Raposo continued touching Hadley early in R2 and almost grabbed a single-leg takedown but couldn’t finish it so he pulled back. Hadley pressured Raposo against the cage, threw a body kick and two entry punches, then took Raposo down with a double-leg. Hadley took Raposo’s back and slowly, methodically went for a rear naked choke. He was able to sink and and squeeze Raposo’s face until the Fall River, MA native submitted. Hadley stays undefeated at 8–0.

Immediately after the fight, Hadley rushed over to Dana White at ringside and apologized to him for missing weight.

Heavyweights: Martin Buday defeated Lorenzo Hood via TKO (knees, R1 4:56)

Buday apparently caught Hood with an eye-poke early, but upon replay it looked like it was just a punch that caught Hood in the eyeball. When the match re-started, Buday soon had Hood pinned against the cage and landed some hard knees and punches to Hood’s right thigh. He looked to be neutralizing Hood’s kicking leg, a smart strategy against a muay thai brown belt. When Buday went for a single-leg, Hood escaped, then exploded in response with a barrage of big rights and lefts, a few of which connected with Buday’s face, each in a serious way. Buday had Hood pinned against the fence again moments later and went back to his knee-to-the-thigh attack. He held a left underhook as he doused Hood with more of those knees and punches to Hood’s thigh and face. Hood’s face was busted up here and had blood coming down his face. The stats showed that Buday was up 44–3 in clinch strikes with about 90 seconds to go in R1. Mark Smith ordered Hood to fight back. Buday then served up a huge knee that connected with Hood’s face, and that was it: Buday wins via TKO with four seconds to go in the first round, extending his win-streak to eight in a row. 

Bantamweights: Christian Rodriguez defeated Reyes Cortez via unanimous decision (30–27, 30–27, 30–27)

Rodriguez was the other fighter on tonight’s show to miss weight before the fight, coming in two pounds heavier than he was supposed to. 

Both threw wild shots after the horn sounded. Cortez had Rodriguez against the cage early. He grabbed a waistlock a few minutes later and came close to taking him down but showed great clinch defense and fended off. Rodriguez escaped and caught Cortez with a few shots before the end of the round. Cortez looked gassed and had a bloody nose by the end of R1.

Rodriguez was more effective and accurate in R2. He landed a nice combo to open the round. Cortez tried taking Rodriguez with a double-leg to stop the strikes but again Rodriguez showed excellent takedown defense.

Rodriguez looked even more confident going into the final round. Cortez finally scored a takedown in R3, but Rodriguez was immediately up, peeled Cortez off him, then went back to boxing Cortez. Cortez scored another takedown shortly after, but both looked so tired by this point. Rodriguez outscored Cortez in every round in strikes by the time this was over, often by at least half. Both threw bombs in the last few seconds. Cortez looked at the clock and tried scoring one last takedown, but it was too late. Rodriguez would win the fight via unanimous decision.

Contracts:

Viacheslav Borshcev was awarded the first contract of the night, and anyone who watched this episode wouldn’t be at all surprised by that decision. 

The next somewhat surprising contract was awarded to Jake Hadley. Despite missing weight, White awarded Hadley a contract based on his performance and a few other things that apparently happened behind the scenes this week during his weight cut. Hadley was extremely emotional when this was announced. I think if any fighter on this season were to earn a contract despite missing weight it would have been Hadley, who already looked like a pro at 25 years old. “Don’t make an asshole out of me, kid.” After the show, White said that matchmakers Hunter Campbell and Sean Shelby instructed White to not sign Hadley beforehand and reportedly “stormed out of the room” when he did.

Heavyweight Martin Buday of Slovakia was the last of the night to earn a UFC contract. 

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