Season 6 of Dana White’s Contender Series was one of the best so far, it truly provided the best unsigned talent from the regional scene. It was very difficult to narrow down this list to ten names, so to bring it down to five was almost impossible.
Read about five prospects that have the most potential of all the contract winners this season…
Middleweight, Ikram Aliskerov (13-1)
Along with other accomplishments, Aliskerov is a two-time world combat sambo champion out of Makhachkala, Russia. His only career loss is to UFC star Khamzat Chimaev. In his fight on the Contender Series, he ran through three-time DWCS veteran Mario Sousa. Aliskerov destroyed Sousa with a first-round kimura.. It was the first time Sousa has been stopped by submission, and in the first round. Aliskerov has beaten stiff competition, has adapted his game, and is in his prime. I said leading up to his Contender Series fight he was a future top-15 middleweight, and I fully believe that…
Welterweight, Gabriel Bonfim (13-0)
Bonfim did have a favorable match-up in Trey Waters, but Waters did take the fight on short notice. Prior to that, Bonfim beat Brenner Alberth and Eduardo Garvon who are two good fighters. In his fight with Garvon, he won the vacant LFA welterweight title. Although ten of his thirteen wins come by submission, Bonfim is a national boxing champion. This guy is legit and I think he has potential to be rank in the top 15.
Lightweight, Mateusz Rebecki (16-1)
I’ve been shouting at the rooftops about Rebecki for years and it’s good to finally see him in the UFC. He got there with seven FEN title defenses and beating good opponents like the guy he beat on the contender series. Not to mention, he was a Polish ADCC gold medalist as well. Rebecki went through Rodrigo Lidio on the contender series who is a dangerous striker. Rebecki grounded him and easily found the neck for the RNC. Of anyone on this list, Rebecki is the most proven fighter. Not just experience but wins over strong competition.
Middleweight, Bo Nickal (2-0)
Of anyone on this list, Nickal has the most hype. Is the hype justified? Sure, but is it correct to say he’s the best from this season? Only time will tell… He may of got a layup in his first fight, but Donovan Beard was a good test. And he ran through hi easily. Nickal is an NCAA Division I wrestler out of Penn State. His time there is what gave him all the hype before stepping into the MMA world. His striking has looked good so far, but there is no indication he’s actually a good striker. Still, Nickal has an extremely high ceiling and has champion potential.
Bantamweight, Farid Basharat (9-0)
The Basharat brothers have always been fighters I’ve had my eyes on. Javid earned his contract last season and Farid did so this recent season. Farid dominated Allan Begosso, who is a stiff opponent. Basharat was flashy on the feet, but it was more so the top control and ground and pound he dominated with that was more impressive. He’s one of the most intriguing fighters that fought this season on Contender Series. Basharat is coming into a loaded division, but I think he fits right in nicely. Sure, he isn’t as put together as his brother. But he isn’t far from it…
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