October 3, 2023 10:10 pm ET
LAS VEGAS – MMA Junkie reported from Tuesday’s Dana White’s Contender Series 65 event at the UFC Apex.
Dana White’s Contender Series cards see prospects fighting for the opportunity to sign a UFC deal, with UFC CEO Dana White on hand to make the decisions.
The ninth episode of Season 7 saw eight fighters compete for their shot at a UFC contract. A light heavyweight bout between Rodolfo Bellato (11-2) and Murtaza Talha (6-1) served as the featured matchup of the four-bout lineup.
Bellato defeated Talha by second-round TKO stoppage in a near-10-minute brawl of a fight. In doing so, he earned a UFC contract from White.
Along with the light heavyweight Bellato, bantamweight Victor Hugo, light heavyweight Magomed Gadzhiyasulov, and welteweight Mauricio Ruffy receives UFC offers form White.
Additionally, Jose Medina, who lost to Gadzhiyasulov, received a contract for his effort and competitiveness.
Full results of Dana White’s Contender Series 64 include:
Rodolfo Bellato def. Murtaza Talha via TKO (punches) – Round 2, 4:46
Victor Hugo def. Eduardo Torres Caut via submission (kneebar) – Round 2, 2:16
Magomed Gadzhiyasulov def. Jose Medina via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Mauricio Ruffy def. Raimond Magomedaliev via TKO (ground-and-pound) – Round 3, 4:45
Continue reading below for more details about each fight.
Raimond Magomedaliev vs. Mauricio Ruffy
Round 1 – Ruffy in a karate stance. Magomedaliev goes a little more traditional. He gets aggressive and Ruffy connects. Lots of misses. Ruffy avoids the strikes of Magomedaliev who presses the action. Ruffy lands a leg kick. Magomedaliev answers with one of his own. Magomedaliev rushes in again. They clinch. Ruffy turns him into the fence and separates. Magomedaliev lands a combination and a pair of singular kicks before the rounds ends. 10-9 Magomedaliev.
Round 2 – This has been a slow fight. I respect the carefulness, personally. But I’m not Dana White and he’s looking for finishes. Ruffy has been aggressive this round, but still neither man has landed much of anything. In the waning seconds of the round, Magomedaliev lands a combination and Ruffy clinches him. At the buzzer, Ruffy lands a spinning elbow. 10-9 Ruffy.
Round 3 – Ruffy comes out aggressive and lands a leg kick that clearly hobbles Magomedaliev, who continues to throw. Perhaps Magomedaliev senses he needs to do something with the blown tire. Ruffy continues to tag him at all levels – head, body, and leg. With each leg kick, Magomedaliev shows signs his leg is impaired. A clash of heads bloodies Magomedaliev, who tries a takedown and absorbs a leg kick. Back at center, Magomedaliev is fairly immobile but he’s trying. Ruffy makes it hard, though, causing some good damage. They come together against the cage and Magomedaliev falls to his back. Ruffy mounts him immediately and begins to rain down ground-and-pound. Magomedaliev squirms but he’s stuck. Referee Eric McMahon gives him numerous chances, but Magomedaliev can’t escape. McMahon jumps in and the fight is over.
Result: Mauricio Ruffy def. Raimond Magomedaliev via TKO (ground-and-pound) – Round 3, 4:45
Photos: Mauricio Ruffy def. Raimond Magomedaliev
Records: Raimond Magomedaliev (10-2), Mauricio Ruffy (9-1)
Referee: Eric McMahon
Magomed Gadzhiyasulov vs. Jose Daniel Medina
Round 1 – Within seconds, it’s evident Gadzhiyasulov is the bigger, quicker, more powerful fighter. Meanwhile, Medina looks uncomfortable. He takes a head kick and charges forward. Gadzhiyasulov lands a pair of leg kicks and then a combination. Medina waves him on. Gadzhiyasulov leg kicks again. Gadzhiyasulov jabs the body and kicks again. Medina is bleeding from both cheeks, but he smiles. Gadzhiyasulov connects on a leg kick, then clinches Medina and walks the fight toward the cage. Medina circles away. Gadzhiyasulov keeps landing this stepping side kick to Medina’s stomach. I don’t think it’s doing much damage but it’s keeping Medina right in Gadzhiyasulov’s range. Medina lands a rushing right hand but Gadzhiyasulov ties him up against the fence again. Medina again moves away and Gadzhiyasulov tries a “Showtime” kick a la Anthony Pettis. Medina clinches Gadzhiyasulov against the fence. Gadzhiyasulov escapes the clinch with a couple seconds left and the clock expires. 10-9 Gadzhiyasulov.
Round 2 – Gadzhiyasulov is focused, constantly switching stances. Medina dives in for a combination. Gadzhiyasulov returns to the leg kicks. They clinch and separate, and clinch and separate. Medina runs at Gadzhiyasulov, who counters him with an elbow. Medina’s nose is busted. Gadzhiyasulov takes Medina down. Gadzhiyasulov moves from full guard to half guard. Medina returns Gadzhiyasulov into full guard. Medina shoves Gadzhiyasulov off, who scrambles back down. Medina gets up along the fence. Gadzhiyasulov trips him back to the canvas. Medina gets up and separates. The horn sounds as they come together again. 20-18 Gadzhiyasulov.
Round 3 – Gadzhiyasulov lands and Medina connects moments later. Medina lands a hard left hand. Gadzhiyasulov takes him down and Medina lands elbows from the bottom. Medina gets up along the fence. Gadzhiyasulov is shoving him into the cage. Medina pushes Gadzhiyasulov and grins. Gadzhiyasulov lands hard and Medina returns with a loud elbow. Gadzhiyasulov is exhausted. He desperately shoots for a takedown and gets it. Gadzhiyasulov is in half guard. After some time on the ground, Gadzhiyasulov gets up and then dives back into Medina’s guard. Medina shoots up a triangle but Gadzhiyasulov pushes his legs aside. Medina crawls toward the cage and uses it to get up. They trade blows before Gadzhiyasulov drags the fight down to the canvas with a thud. The round ends. 30-27 Gadzhiyasulov.
Result: Magomed Gadzhiyasulov def. Jose Medina via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Photos: Magomed Gadzhiyasulov def. Jose Medina
Records: Magomed Gadzhiyasulov (8-0), Jose Medina (11-3)
Division: Light heavyweight
Referee: Jason Herzog
Victor Hugo vs. Eduardo Torres Caut
Round 1 – Torres Caut grabs hold of Hugo’s back along the fence. Eventually, Hugo takes Torres Caut down and lands on top. Hugo is in Torres Caut’s guard, which is butterfly. Torres Caut creates separation and Hugo tries for a heel hook. Hugo switches to a calf slicer. Oh my. Torres Caut escapes but Hugo ends up on top of him in guard. Torres Caut shoves Hugo and they’re back up. Hugo tries a spinning back kick to the midsection. Hugo tries a spinning sweep kick. That’s unusual. It misses. The round ends with the two fighters looking at each other. 10-9 Hugo.
Round 2 – After a few brief exchanges, Hugo shoots for a takedown. He shoves Torres Caut into the cage. Hugo drops for a kneebar. Torres Caut’s knee is extended. We might have a tap – and we get it. That was slick!
Result: Victor Hugo def. Eduardo Torres Caut via submission (kneebar) – Round 2, 2:16
Photos: Victor Hugo def. Eduardo Torres Caut
Records: Eduardo Torres Caut (17-2), Victor Hugo (24-4)
Referee: Eric McMahon
Rodolfo Bellato vs. Murtaza Talha
Round 1 – This fight could gets nuts. Let’s see. Bellato lands a streamline of leg kicks early. Talha leaps in and clinches. Bellato tries to sweep him to the canvas but Talha evades. Bellato lands another calf kick. Talha explodes with some dirty boxing. Bellato absorbs and resets. Another Bellato leg kick lands. Talha runs forward with some punches and shoots for a takedown. Bellato stuffs. Back up, Talha checks a Bellato leg kick. They clinch. Bellato walks Talha back to the cage. Bellato lands two knees to Talha’s face in the Thai clinch. Talha returns with an uppercut and two more punches. Those were solid. Bellato clinches again and shoves Talha into the fence. They’re brawling. Both men land. The round ends. 10-9 Talha.
Round 2 – Bellato smokes Talha’s calf with another pair of kicks. Talha shoots and Bellato just shoves him aside. They go back to brawling in the pocket. Bellato gets Talha against the fence and lands a lengthy combination. Bellato shoves him into the cage and lands a pair of Thai knees. Talha eats another and is swinging back. Bellato clinches him again. They trade punches in the clinch. Bellato goes to the body and then the head. They separate. Bellato tries a flying knee. Talha drops down tiredly for a takedown. I don’t think that’s smart. Bellato grabs for an anaconda choke. Talha stands up and Bellato lets go. Bellato clinches him against the fence and drills him in the midsection with a knee. Talha is beat and battered. Bellato lands a knee and an elbow. They walk toward the center of the cage, still clinched. Bellato walks him back to the cage and begins to unload. Talha counters, though. Bellato lands too the body again. Bellator is throwing and Talha blindly wings punches back. Talha dives for a leg and doesn’t grab anything. Bellato swings to Talha’s back as referee Jason Herzog gives a warning. Bellato continues to pummel away. That’s it. Herzog stops it. That was violent.
Result: Rodolfo Bellato def. Murtaza Talha via TKO (punches) – Round 2, 4:46
Photos: Rodolfo Bellator def. Murtaza Talha
Records: Rodolfo Bellato (11-2) vs. Murtaza Talha (6-1)
Division: Light heavyweight
Referee: Jason Herzog
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