UFC

Dana White’s Contender Series 2021 Week 3 preview and prediction

Previews and predictions for week three of this year’s edition of Dana White’s Contender Series.

The third week of the 2021 Contender Series circuit is live and direct on Tuesday from the UFC APEX in Las Vegas. Contracts have been awarded at a historic rate, with five already given out through two weeks.

This week’s card features six fights — each a different weight class — including the first women’s matchup of the season between Jasmine Jasudavicius and Julia Polastri. Let’s take a look at all six fights of week three.

Jailton Junior vs. Nasrudin Nasrudinov preview and prediction

Light heavyweights are set to headline this week’s edition of Dana White’s Contender Series. Russia’s Nasrudin Nasrudinov puts his undefeated record on the line against Brazil’s Jailton Junior — who enters with a 100 percent finish rate in 13 his victories.

Junior owns submission wins over UFC competitors Ednaldo Oliveira and Ildemar Alcantara. The 30-year-old stands a tall 6’4 and has fought as light as welterweight and as big as heavyweight. Junior presents an in-your-face grappling style.

Nasrudinov fights out of Krepost Fight Club in Moscow, Russia. The 29-year-old took almost five years off from 2008-2013, but he’s been active the last three years, going 5-0. He’s well-rounded and possesses solid takedown defense.

Nasrudinov’s ability to defend Junior’s takedowns will decide this fight. If Junior gets him to the ground he’ll have a sizable advantage in the submission department. However, if it stays on the feet, Nasrudinov has the sharper hands on paper.

Prediction: Jailton Junior by stoppage. Contract acquired.

Mo Miller vs .Brandon Lewis preview and prediction

A pair of 5-0 bantamweights are set to square off in Mo Miller and Brandon Lewis. Miller earned this opportunity after tallying three finishes last year. Meanwhile, Lewis returned from an injury layoff last March in a winning effort at LFA 102.

Born in New Jersey and fighting out of Ohio alongside Stipe Miocic, Miller brings a wrestling background with him into DWCS. Not many bantamweights will be able to match the 29-year-old’s physical strength inside the cage. Miller has the ability to dominate fights with his grappling.

Lewis enters as one of the youngest fighters slated for this year’s Dana White’s Contender Series at 24-years-old. The Connecticut native suffered a major back injury in 2017 — sidelining him for over three years.

Miller is going to hold a four-inch height advantage to go along with his edge in strength. Yet, Lewis has been fighting since he was 17 and he has a ton of submissions under his belt. Still, the striking should be fairly even, but Miller likely takes it with his wrestling prowess.

Prediction: Mo Miller by decision. No contract(s) awarded.

Albert Duraev vs. Caio Bittencourt preview and prediction

Both Albert Duraev and Caio Bittencourt are returning to the cage following layoffs that date back to 2018. Additionally, the pair of middleweights enter DWCS having won their previous eight outings.

Russia’s Duraev has recently spent time training alongside heavyweight champ Francis Ngannou. The 32-year-old has a number of knockouts, submissions, and decisions to his name — speaking to his well-versed game. Duraev has finishing ability no matter where the fight goes.

Brazil’s Bittencourt is moving down to middleweight for his upcoming fight. The 30-year-old has a plethora of opening round stoppages on his record as he likes to burst out of the gates fast. Based on his film, it doesn’t take a lot for him to put his opponents down.

Duraev likes to fly forward throwing bombs and he possesses a devastating left hook to the body that he throws while his opponents cover their heads. Bittencourt is sneakily athletic, which can be seen in his flying knee that he throws fairly often. Both have hard leg kicks, but the speed advantage favors the Russian.

Prediction: Albert Duraev by stoppage. Contract acquired.

Dylan Potter vs. Lukasz Brzeski preview and prediction

Washington’s Dylan Potter welcomes Poland’s Lukasz Brzeski in the inaugural heavyweight matchup of this year’s Contender Series.

The 26-year-old Potter received the call to fight on DWCS following a submission win back in July. Training at American Top Team (Portland), “Big Poppa” has a versatile game between his kickboxing, Muay Thai, and BJJ. He’s 4-1 in his last five contests.

Brzeski stands a tall 6’4″ with a 78″ reach. Despite only fighting 10 times in roughly eight years, Brzeski finds himself with this massive opportunity ahead of him. He’s not the fastest heavyweight, but he’s adept at mixing his strikes to all three levels.

This might not be the cleanest fight of the night, but it’s difficult to imagine this one going the distance. Potter has been susceptible to being finished throughout his career, but he’s no stranger to knockouts in his own right. Yet, Brzeski has a little more to offer on the feet and should be crisper with his attacks.

Prediction: Lukasz Brzeski by stoppage. Contract acquired.  

Jack Della Maddalena vs. Ange Loosa preview and prediction

Welterweights headlined last week’s card and the division is on full display again with Australia’s Jack Della Maddalena and Switzerland’s Ange Loosa.

Della Maddalena has a perfect finish rate and in fact, since losing his first two pro bouts, he’s rattled off nine consecutive wins. He has incredibly sharp hands. His combinations are tight and accurate as he hardly ever overcommits himself. Then, when he has you hurt, he hunts the finish like a predator hunting its prey.

Loosa has been inactive since 2019 and he’s only averaged about a fight per year since turning pro in 2013. In his limited action, the 27-year-old has impressed, with his lone defeat coming via split decision. Loosa is physically imposing and he owns a powerful straight right hand.

It’ll be interesting to see if Loosa initiates grappling sequences because he might be outmatched in the striking department. Although, he should be the stronger of the two fighters when tangled up with one another. It’s a competitive matchup, but Della Maddalena has been more active while also having the better striking.

Prediction: Jack Della Maddalena by stoppage. Contract acquired.

Jasmine Jasudavicius vs. Julia Polastri preview and prediction

The first women’s contest of the 2021 Dana White’s Contender Series comes at flyweight with Jasmine Jasudavicius and Julia Polastri.

The 32-year-old from Canada is extremely talented. Her kickboxing and Muay Thai have aided her in finishing fights on several occasions. Jasudavicius trains at the renowned Niagara Top Team and she’s racked up five wins since 2019 — making her the most active fighter on this week’s card.

Brazil’s Polastri has really solid boxing and head movement — which was evident in her recent SFT 22 outing. She’ll be sizably shorter than her DWCS opponent, but her relentless grappling might assist her in getting the fight to the ground, nullifying the height advantage.

There’s something about Jasudavicius that screams high ceiling. She’ll have a tough test against Polastri and her grappling, but the Canadian’s striking and clinch game should be more than enough to take control of this fight.

Prediction: Jasmine Jasudavicius by stoppage. Contract acquired. 

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