Dana White’s Tuesday Night Contenders Series 1 will air on July 11, 2017, in Las Vegas, Nevada.
MATT “THE MANGLER” BESSETTE (22-7-0) VS. KURT HOLOBAUGH (17-4-0)
This is a three-round main event in the featherweight division. Bessette brings striking and jiu-jitsu giving him knockout power with grappling control. Holobaugh brings kickboxing and jiu-jitsu giving him knockout power and grappling control. In this fight are two very identical fighters which could turn out interesting to watch how it goes down. Though with the grappling techniques of Bessette I really don’t know if Holobaugh will be able to stand up to him even with his knowledge of jiu-jitsu. Holobaugh’s only chance would be to keep the fight on their feet where he has a little better striking than Bessette, but if he does not keep his takedown defense up then this fight will not go well for him at all. My prediction: Bessette wins via submission in Round 2.
GREG REBELLO (22-7-0) VS. ZU ANYANWU (13-4-0)
This is a three-round co-main event in the heavyweight division. Rebello brings striking with some grappling giving him knockout power. Anyanwu brings jiu-jitsu giving him grappling control. This fight brings a striker and a grappler, which will be decided on where the fight takes place and with Rebello’s striking and takedown defense I see him taking this fight with ease as Anyanwu is an all around grappler with not much striking. The only way Anyanwu would stand a chance is to find a way around Rebello’s takedown defense and get the fight to the ground where he is the strongest, but with heavy strikes being thrown at him I don’t see his chances good at accomplishing that. My prediction: Rebello wins via knockout in Round 3.
BOSTON SALMON (5-1-0) VS. RICKY TURCIOS (8-0-0)
This is a three-round fight in the bantamweight division. Salmon brings kickboxing and wrestling giving him knockout power and grappling control. Turcios brings Muay Thai, taekwondo, jiu-jitsu, and wrestling giving him knockout power with grappling control that lead him to a perfect record. In this fight are two fighters with similar techniques, but Turcios appears to bring more to the table with his striking and grappling that could be more than Salmon can handle. Unless Salmon can find ways to throw some nasty strikes at Turcios to the point he is rocked then I really don’t see this fight playing out great for him. My prediction: Turcios wins via unanimous decision.
CHARLES BYRD (7-4-0) VS. JUSTIN JONES (9-2-0)
This is a three-round fight in the middleweight division. Byrd brings boxing, Muay Thai, jiu-jitsu, and wrestling giving him knockout power with grappling control. Jones brings kickboxing and wrestling giving him knockout power and grappling control. In this fight are two fighters with identical techniques, but Byrd shows more in both his striking and grappling where Jones only has just enough in both to be able to compete in the sport. The only chance Jones probably has is to try and use his wrestling and maintain top control, but in order to do so, he will have to overcome Byrd’s jiu-jitsu and wrestling combination along with the striking power he possesses that might be more than he can handle. My prediction: Byrd wins via TKO in Round 2.
MANNY VAZQUEZ (11-2-0) VS. JOBY SANCHEZ (9-2-0)
This is a three-round fight in the bantamweight division. Vazquez brings wrestling giving him extreme grappling control. Sanchez brings boxing and Kajukenbo giving him knockout power and grappling control. In this fight are two very different styles of fighters and when examining their techniques a little closer I say that Sanchez takes this with his mixture striking and grappling where Vazquez seems to be just an all around grappler. Now, if Vazquez used his wrestling to the fullest then he might be able to outlast Sanchez, but at the same time he must figure out how to overcome his striking ability which will surely hold him back on finding a perfect takedown attempt. My prediction: Sanchez wins via unanimous decision.