Daniel Swain (T) (Phil Lambert/Combat Press)

Contender Series: Season 4, Ep. 2 Preview and Predictions

Dana White’s Tuesday Night Contender Series is back for its fourth season.

The show, which continues on its home on ESPN+, aims to give top prospects a chance to impress the UFC brass in an attempt to earn a contract with the company.

The show’s second episode of the new season takes place on August 11. The ESPN+ stream gets underway at 8 p.m. ET.


The Lineup

MW: Dustin Stoltzfus (12-1, Frankers Fight Team, USA) vs. Joseph Pyfer (7-1, Team Balance, USA)

BW: Brady Huang (11-1, Dragon House, USA) vs. Adrian Yanez (10-3, Metro Fight Club, USA)

Women’s StrawW: Vanessa Demopoulos (5-1, Black House MMA, USA) vs. Cory McKenna (4-1, Team Alpha Male, Wales)

FW: Daniel Swain (20-9-1, Warrior Camp MMA, USA) vs. TJ Laramie (11-3, Maximum Training Centre, Canada)

MW: Anthony Adams (8-1, Elevation Fight Team, USA) vs. Impa Kasanganay (6-0, Gym-O, USA)

Best Prospect: Kasanganay

While the best fighter on this card right now is Stoltzfus, the best overall prospect is Kasanganay. He has long-term upside as a very young fighter who has already fought at a high level. He scored an upset over top prospect Kailan Hill in his first Contender Series appearance. He showed great athleticism and wrestling in that bout. Kasanganay is going to continue to improve at a quick rate.

Best Fight: Yanez vs. Huang

If you like the smaller guys who go out there to get after it, you are going to enjoy the clash between Yanez and Huang. Both guys like to brawl and don’t know how to take a backward step. Yanez is pretty well rounded, so he will have no problem regardless of where Huang wants to engage him.

Huang is a little more of a wild card. He has a lot of quick finishes in his career, but most of them came in fights against cans in promotions like Dragon House. He was knocked out by Martin Day, which is a blemish that suggests that he could be outclassed the minute he steps up in competition. Huang might struggle against Yanez, but he’ll put up an exciting bout while doing so.

The Dark Horse: Yanez

Yanez is a well-rounded, exciting fighter, so he is tailor-made to succeed on this show. His striking is clearly his bread and butter. His only three losses have come against a pair of UFC guys by split decision (Miles Johns and Domingo Pilarte) and top bantamweight prospect Levi Mowles. He has fought in a Legacy Fighting Alliance main event, so matchmakers are clearly high on him. Will he ever be a UFC title contender? It’s doubtful. However, he will be a solid hand in a talent-packed division.

The Long Shot: Huang

Is there much else to say about the contest featuring Yanez and Huang? Huang is very untested against legit competition, so he’s got a lot to prove here.

Signing Predictions: Stoltzfus, Yanez, Demopoulos, Kasanganay

Stoltzfus is an impressive middleweight who could immediately jump right into the UFC in that division. He’s experienced and skilled, and once he takes out a top prospect like Pyfer, he will land a contract.

Yanez gets the “Fight of the Night” signing. The winner of the best fight generally joins the UFC, and with a fun, impressive win over Huang, Yanez will secure his roster spot.

Demopoulos is the Legacy Fighting Alliance women’s strawweight champion. With a win on Tuesday, she will earn a UFC contract.

Kasanganay impressed the UFC brass on last season’s Contender Series, but they saw him as somebody who needed more experience. He will come back this year, impress once more, and finally convince UFC President Dana White to give him that contract.

Fight Picks
MW: Dustin Stoltzfus vs. Joseph PyferStoltzfus
BW: Brady Huang vs. Adrian YanezYanez
Women’s StrawW: Vanessa Demopoulos vs. Cory McKennaDemopoulos
FW: Daniel Swain vs. TJ LaramieSwain
MW: Impa Kasanganay vs. Anthony AdamsKasanganay