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DWCS Season 5 Finale: Last two UFC contracts awarded; rare double low blow during Bilharinho vs. Kawaihae

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - NOVEMBER 02: Maheshate reacts after his victory over Achilles Estremadura in a lightweight fight during Dana White's Contender Series season 5, week 10 at UFC APEX on November 02, 2021 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC)

Maheshate defeated Achilles Estremadura via unanimous decision (29–28, 29–28, 29–28)

Maheshate defeated Estremadura to become the first Chinese fighter to win on Dana White’s Contender Series. The early seconds of the fight were war, as Estremadura came for Maheshate’s head only seconds into the first round. Maheshate survived the early onslaught and would eventually win the bout in style. He landed a big flying knee in R2, then delivered a smorgasbord of significant strikes in R3 to wrap the fight and take home the unanimous decision win.

Yohan Lainesse defeated Justin Burlinson via (TKO, punches) R1, 1:37

The French-Canadian Lainesse escaped a dangerous situation early on, where Burlinson had Lainesse first locked in a deep guillotine choke, then attempted both a Kimura lock and armbar before Lainesse escaped to his feet. Lainesse caught Burlinson twice, though the latter punch absolutely starched Burlinson. Lainesse dove in with a hammer fist, but the fight was called soon after Burlinson had collapsed onto the mat. Lainesse was impressive in picking off the undefeated Burlinson with this wild TKO finish.

Erisson Ferreira de Silva defeated Qiu Lin via unanimous decision (29–28, 29–28, 29–28)

de Silva picked up the win here, but the unanimous judges’ decision is deceiving, because this fight was pretty close all the way through. Even Michael Bisping on commentary mentioned he’d have scored the fight for Qiu, who dropped da Silva early. Qiu almost choked out de Silva, though de Silva would do the same to him later on in the fight. Qiu was impressive, but de Silva walked away with the W. He was emotional upon hearing the decision, falling to his knees in tears. de Silva’s mother passed in August, so after the fight, he mentioned to Laura Sanko through a translator that he dedicated the fight to her, and described the tough going he’d had from this summer until now.

Jonas Bilharinho defeated Canaan Kawaihae via (TKO, spinning back kick) R3, 4:00

This was a long, tentative fight, really until the last few minutes of R3. Bilharinho has a hell of a punch. He was able to put Kawaihae away with a spinning back hook kick with a minute left in the fight. Was it out of desperation? Probably, but boy, did it connect. The impressive finish and Bilharinho’s overall prowess didn’t impress Dana White enough to give him a contract in the end, which shocked many. I should also mention this fight featured the first-ever double low-blow in the show’s history. It definitely my first time seeing that. As both fighters were clinched against the cage, the threw simultaneous knees, and both landed below the waistline.

Juan Puerta defeated Shang Zifa via split decision (29–28, 28–29, 29–28)

Puerta had a serious reach advantage over Zifa. This was another bout where both fighters looked hesitant. Neither let loose with strikes, either. Zifa’s range was way off, and Puerta, despite having the aforementioned reach advantage, decided to out-wrestle Zifa, taking him down twice throughout the match. Zifa made one last run in R3, which saw him chasing Puerta around the Octagon. He’d connect with one shot, but in the end it wasn’t enough. Puerta scored win via split decision.

Contracts

Only two contracts were awarded on the season finale of DWCS, which went to China’s Maheshate and Quebec’s Yohan Lainesse. Of some of the other fight’s on the card, he claimed he didn’t see enough “killer instinct” out of the fighters. As mentioned, many were shocked that Jonas  Bilharinho didn’t also earn a UFC contract. I suppose that after the recent UFC 267 pay-per-view, a lot of the fights on this episode came off sub-par, especially in the eyes of matchmakers.

Regardless, after a total of 50 fights, this season of Dana White’s Contender Series has wrapped. If you’re looking for some of the top unsigned international talent looking to dive into the Big Leagues, DWCS offers a consistent weekly card with mostly top-tier fights, with some of the cards being higher quality than some of UFC’s recent Fight Night weekend events.

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