Dana White’s Contender Series is set to return this August. This time around, the show will feature International talent ready to get their shot at a UFC contract.
We already have one returner confirmed, and that’s Canada’s Aaron Jeffery. Since his time on Contender Series, he’s main evented four fights, racked up two finishes over two DWCS veterans, and captured a CFFC championship while he was at it. Jeffery is a great blueprint for fighters who many not have gotten a contract the first time out or lost their Contender Series fight.
If you work hard, stay active, and take the hard fights — you can be back where you want to be in no time. For the sake of this list, we will feature fighters from past season’s of Contender Series. But only ones that have remained active after their time on the show.
Steve Nguyen (7-1)
It only took Steve Nguyen 30 seconds at LFA 100 to dispose of his opponent. If you ask me, he literally punched his ticket back to the Contender Series for the upcoming season. The flying knee from Aalon Cruz caught Nguyen two season’s ago, but coming back with a win in that fashion — there should be no denying him now.
There may only be a handful of U.S. talent on this upcoming season of DWCS, but Steve is one that needs to be considered. Especially at featherweight, where there is room for additional up-and-coming prospects.
Mike Breeden (10-3)
Although he lost his fight on Contender Series, Mike Breeden was still a standout. What left many people confused, was after losing to Anthony Romero last season, Breeden was talked about more than his opposition. Even receiving kudos from the bossman himself, Dana White.
Since his loss, Breeden stayed more active than most DWCS alums, and racked up two wins under the FAC banner on UFC Fight Pass. After a finish in 2020 over Ken Beverly and one this year over Nick Compton, it’s time to bring Breeden back on the show for a second shot at a UFC contract.
Vanessa Demopoulous (6-3)
Vanessa Demopolous fights the tough fights. So she should be rewarded for taking the path less traveled. In a game full of padded records, Demopoulous sticks out of the pack. She has some incredible fights on her resume, even if she didn’t get the win. She’s entertraining, her ground game is elite, and she is a character that will definitely bring eyes when she fights.
After her recent finish, it’s clear that she needs to be in the big leagues. There’s only so many matchups left on the regional circuit and it was a good scrap between her and Cory McKenna last season. Let’s bring her back to Contender Series and see what she’s really made of.
Cody Brundage (6-1)
It’s always nice to get a finish after a loss on Contender Series. Cody Brundage, like the others on this list, bounced back with a great finish on UFC Fight Pass for LFA 99, showing major improvements.
He recently confirmed his return to DWCS, however, it looks like there is a new opponent that hasn’t been announced. The UFC middleweight division needs some new talent, so I’m sure it won’t be long we see Brundage in the big leagues.
Jay Perrin (9-4)
If you ask Dana White, Jay Perrin won his Contender Series fight two season’s ago. He hasn’t been able to stay active with fights in New England, but he’s confirmed to make his Cage Titans return this month. Now training full-time in Las Vegas, Perrin looks to make a statement when he makes his return to New England.
With a finish, it would be hard to deny Jay a second opportunity on DWCS. He’s won since his time on the show and has only improved since. Definitely excited to see how the next few months play out for the New England native.