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Dana White’s Contender Series Season 7, Week 4 Recap

Dana White's Contender Series DWCS
On Season Seven Week Four of Dana White’s Contender Series the UFC brought in a group of new fighters. Here is what you can expect from each. (David Yeazell-USA TODAY Sports)

Dana White’s Contender Series Season 7, Week 4 Recap

Dana White’s Contender Series (DWCS) Season 7, Week 4 saw Dana White hand out three UFC contracts. Yes, that means two winners left empty-handed, but I would agree with the UFC President’s reasoning for letting both fighters walk. Thankfully, the three fighters who received contracts impressed and are worth discussing.

If you are new to these DWCS recaps, I give a quick rundown of contract-winning performances and rank which fighters have the highest potential heading into their UFC tenure. This is done with the highest potential at the top and lowest at the bottom. For this week, fighters one and two are super close so don’t read too much into which fighter sits at the top because they are both some of the best prospects from DWCS Season 7.

Bolaji Oki (Lightweight)

Bolaji Oki looked outstanding on DWCS Season 7, Week 4. Oki was able to out-strike Dylan Salvador before landing an impressive body shot that ended the fight in the opening round.

Oki, 27, gets a bump in ranking for beating Salvador. This is because Salvador is a great striker with a respected Muay Thai and kickboxing background. In theory, Oki should not have been able to run through him on the feet.

Oki showed a lot of promising traits in his DWCS bout. First of all, I loved his bodywork. That should not come as a surprise based on his finish, however. Regardless, his left hand to the body is sneaky and does damage. I also like how he used the straight right to set up that body shot. Oki’s right straight and left body shot is a great example of pairing two lethal shots together. That is a great way to find a finish. Furthermore, he showed great finishing instincts, which helped him close the show.

Oki’s speed helps make his boxing a tick more dangerous. It simply provides him an extra advantage over opponents that will help him land big punches.

Oki showed some solid head movement throughout his fight as well. I am concerned that his overreliance on heat movement will get him caught because he is playing with fire, but I prefer that to a fighter that never moves his head.

In the UFC, I am interested to see how Oki will utilize his kicks. In this bout, the gameplan was to pressure which limits the opportunities to throw kicks. Still, his kicks looked good when he used them.

I am high on Oki as he enters the UFC. The only issue for him is that he is a lightweight. That division is a gauntlet and it is a difficult climb. Nonetheless, Oki will be a prospect that fans should keep an eye on because he has a lot of upside.

Carlos Prates (Welterweight)

Carlos Prates was the other fighter from DWCS Season 7, Week 4 to jump off the screen. Prates looked dominant before finishing Mitch Ramirez in the second round to earn a contract.

Prates is a long welterweight striker. At 6-foot-1, he holds some size for the division. Frankly, he has an atypical frame that accentuates his arm and leg length. That results in him having a 78″ reach with long legs.

Prates makes good use of his length when striking. This is highlighted by his sharp straight and powerful kicks. Additionally, he uses knees on the inside to prevent fighters from closing the distance.

At 30, Prates is in his prime. In his UFC debut, he will enter the welterweight division with plenty of skills on the feet. I am interested to see how his grappling looks. In his DWCS bout, he was taken down, but he had a nice escape shortly after. The issue is that his long and skinny frame will be troublesome against elite welterweight strikers. It does not mean he’s a bad grappler. Instead, it is something to keep an eye on early in his UFC run.

Overall, I am excited to see Prates in the UFC. The potential is obvious. I classify him as a prospect with clear potential to reach the welterweight rankings.

Thomas Peterson (Heavyweight)

The final contract winner from DWCS Season 7, Week 4 was Thomas Peterson. The heavyweight earned a UFC contract after submitting Chandler Cole with a keylock in the second round.

The scouting report on Peterson is fairly simple. I’d classify him as a wrestler with heavy ground-and-pound and quality submissions. That may seem like an oversimplification of his game, but it’s accurate. It’s effective, too. Peterson has a good collection of takedowns that allows him to get fights on the ground. From there, he is a big man and he makes it tough for the guy on the bottom to escape.

Peterson has the advantage of fighting in the heavyweight division. The weight class simply lacks a ton of above-average wrestlers. If you are a big man who can wrestle, you will get wins in the UFC heavyweight division. Peterson meets that standard. In the UFC, he will find success against a lot of unranked heavyweights that cannot grapple. That may lead him to the rankings. I have a hard time seeing him break into the ten-top, however.

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