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Dana White’s Contender Series 6: Preview and predictions

It's nearly time for another episode of Dana White's Tuesday Night Contender Series. We break down each of the five intriguing fights on the card.


This week’s episode of Dana White’s Tuesday Night Contender Series sees five intriguing battles between fighters desperate for their ticket to the UFC. The episode also features the first time a women’s bout has appeared on Dana White’s Tuesday Night Contender Series.

Dana White’s Contender Series 6 Lineup

  • Charles Byrd vs Randall Wallace
  • Grant Dawson vs Adrian Diaz
  • Karl Reed vs Cameron Olson
  • Martin Day vs Jaime Alvarez
  • Tiffany Masters vs Jamie Colleen

Charles Byrd vs Randall Wallace

Charles Byrd (8-4) is the first fighter to score a second chance at the Contender Series. Byrd featured in Dana White's Contender Series 1 and put Jamie Pickett to sleep with an arm-triangle with five seconds remaining in the first round. Byrd fights aggressively with forward momentum and a diversity of striking attacks including spinning back fists and lightning-fast kicks. Byrd's leg kicks were a destructive force during the first minute of the fight with Jamie Pickett and it forced Pickett to shoot for a takedown and avoid getting his legs banged up any further.

Randall Wallace (15-6) is a tough competitor who enters this fight against Byrd with a three-fight winning streak. Wallace has competed and lost twice against current UFC welterweight Max Griffin. He also has three fights against Justin Baesman and a victory over Marco "Polo" Reyes on his record. His last fight, a fast knockout win over Mike Morales marked the return to the middleweight division for Wallace.

Prediction

Randall Wallace loves to make the fight scrappy. Charles Byrd has the ability with his kicks to keep Wallace away and punish him for any careless forward movement. Byrd will punish Wallace's legs before finishing him in the first round and gaining his contract with the UFC.

Grant Dawson vs Adrian Diaz

Grant Dawson (11-1) and Adrian Diaz (11-4-1) meet for what will be an exciting featherweight bout between two known finishers.

After suffering his first defeat as a mixed martial artist against Hugh Pulley in April 2016, Grant Dawson will enter the TUF Gym for Contender Series 6 on a two-fight winning streak. Dawson has an incredible list of triumphs and all 18 of his combined professional and amateur mixed martial arts victories have come via way of stoppage. In fact, he had strung together 14 consecutive submission wins (through amateur and professional contests) until he knocked out Bryce Logan at Victory FC 47. One thing is for certain, you don't want to expose your neck to Grant Dawson. 

Adrian Diaz steps in after scoring three consecutive victories that included a submission win over ex-UFC Cody Gibson at Tachi PF 31. Gibson, the TPF bantamweight champion moved up to challenge Diaz for the featherweight championship but Diaz shut him down and earned his spot on the Contender Series. Much like Dawson, Diaz enters this with all of his seven most recent wins coming via way of stoppage. 

Prediction

Despite his outstanding record, Dawson does tend to get hit fairly often and is willing to eat a shot in order to secure a takedown. Diaz has sharp hands and will patiently stalk his opponent while waiting for the right time to throw punches. He's also an excellent scrambler, which can help him escape the takedowns of Dawson. The problem with scrambling, though, is that you can sometimes expose yourself for an unexpected submission, this is especially the case against a submission machine like Dawson.

Diaz has a major advantage standing up, but it's only going to take one minor slip up for Dawson to find a submission win. 

Karl Reed vs Cameron Olson

If you're wondering why you are seeing shades of Stephen Thompson when you watch Karl Reed at Contender Series 6, it's because Reed is a student and instructor at Pitch Black MMA (Upstate Karate); the home of Ray and Stephen Thompson. 

Karl Reed (2-0) fights with a unique blend of karate and wrestling, a style that you rarely see. Reed is fresh to the MMA scene but is quickly learning and putting it all together. If Reed scores a win against Cameron Olsen at Contender Series 6, the UFC would be wise to sign him and lock up this extremely exciting light heavyweight. 

Reed's opponent Cameron Olsen (7-3) strangely enters this Contender Series matchup after being knocked out by Julian Marquez who earned a contract after Contender Series 4.  Olsen trains at Roufusport MMA with the likes of Anthony Pettis, Tyron Woodley, Paul Felder and Sergio Pettis. 

Prediction

I can't help but feel that Reed is being handed a prime opportunity against Olsen at this Contender Series. Olsen recently fought Danyelle Williams, who has a kicking-focused approach and relied on his wrestling to take him down to the mat and finish him. Karl Reed is an excellent wrestler, though, and will have answers for Olsen on the feet and in the grappling exchanges. I've got Reed winning by KO/TKO in round two.

Martin Day vs Jaime Alvarez

Jaime Alvarez (6-1) featured on The Ultimate Fighter Season 24: Tournament of Champions. Alvarez entered the show as the flyweight champion of the Absolute Fighting Championship. He's relatively new to the scene and doesn't have major accolades next to his name, however, he truly believes that he has what it takes to not only enter the UFC but be a champion of the UFC flyweight division. Alvarez's dream was cut short on the season of TUF when he was defeated by Ronaldo Candido (who also featured on Contender Series 4) by a rear-naked choke in the first round. It was an unfortunate turn of events for Alvarez after he had almost finished Candido with a heavy punch. Instead of letting Candido back to the feet, he chose to engage with him on the mat and then Candido out-grappled him from there.

Alvarez will get another chance to prove himself to Dana White when he meets the 5-1 Martin Day. Day started his career with four consecutive victories until running into the hands of Nohelin Hernandez. Day has exquisite kicking ability and seamlessly transitions through combinations. His loss against Hernandez was a result of poorly timed landing from a spinning kick which allowed Hernandez to move down to the mat and finish him with strikes from Day's full guard. Being finished from your own full guard is definitely concerning and I imagine that Day has plenty of jiu-jitsu training forthcoming if he wants to compete in the UFC.

Prediction

This has all the makings of a spectacular fight. Both of these guys are 'flowy' and have powerful striking for the flyweight division. Alvarez likes to stay in boxing range, while Day is primarily outside of the range of his opponents punches and wants to establish the optimal range for his kicks. Day's kicks may cause trouble for Alvarez at first, but I think that Alvarez can find a way to smother Day and heap the pressure on him before finding a home for his punches. Alvarez wins this one by decision.

Tiffany Masters vs Jamie Colleen

We finally get to see some women's mixed martial arts action on Dana White's Contender Series! Tiffany Masters (2-0) will battle Jamie Colleen (3-1) in a strawweight fight.

Masters picked up two fast wins at King of the Cage before being picked up by Invicta FC just a few months ago. Her last victory was a 57-second anaconda choke submission against Miki Rogers in March. Masters Invicta FC debut was supposed to take place last month but her opponent, Mallory Martin, was hospitalized prior to the fight and was unable to compete. 

Jamie Colleen has just four fights to her name but has looked extremely powerful in career so far. Colleen brutally knocked out current UFC fighter Danielle Taylor at King of the Cage: Bitter Rivals back in 2015. Afterward, Colleen would go on to defeat Calie Cutler and make it three straight KO/TKO victories before falling short against Danielle Taylor in a rematch. 

The Prediction

Masters takes fighters down to the mat to beat them up. Colleen, on the other hand, can deliver massive blows standing up and this is where Masters greatest disadvantage is. It'll be an interesting battle between these two strawweight fighters and the result could entirely be dependent on whether Masters can get Colleen down to the mat. I've got Colleen surviving the early onslaught from Masters before winning rounds two and three and winning a decision victory.


You can watch Dana White’s Tuesday Night Contender Series every Tuesday on UFC Fight Pass. If you’re up for something a little different make sure to try out the ‘Snoopcast’ feature. ‘Snoopcast’ is an alternative audio and visual experience that allows you to watch the event with commentary provided by Snoop Dogg and recently admitted Hall-of-Famer Urijah Faber.

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Jake Nichols

Jake is RealSport's MMA editor. Based in South East Asia, Jake provides comprehensive coverage of ONE Championship while also sharing his thoughts on UFC and Bellator.

Dana White’s Contender Series 6: Preview and predictions

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