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Dana White’s Tuesday Night Contender Series 2018: Week 8 Preview

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Well, that was fun and strange, huh? The wild ride that is 2018’s Dana White’s Tuesday Night Contender Series comes to a close this week, with some big boys duking it out and some wily prospects and veterans working their way to the big tent.

Greg Hardy vs Tebaris Gordon – Heavyweight

Which brings us to Greg Hardy (1-0 pro). We’ve treaded this ground before. We know about his past problems as well as the moral and ethical complications of his involvement with MMA overall, but he’s already impressed with his pro debut. It seems inevitable that he’ll be in the good graces of the UFC and fighting in their heavyweight division for some time.

This week, he faces Tebaris Gordon, a North Carolina fighter with a 3-0 pro record (all finishes) and a 5-4 amateur record. Three of those losses were decisions, one a TKO. His cardio is not good, and his game is largely a matter of outmuscling his opponent, overpowering them to get top position and raining punches from there. He’s great at keeping constant pressure once he’s there, but his defense is lacking. He backs up in a straight line, which makes him a prime target for Hardy’s reach and ability to close distance. Gordon might get slept here, or he could control this fight over time to a less-than-thrilling decision. Tall order considering Hardy’s athleticism and strength. I’ll be calling this for Hardy.

Kennedy Nzechukwu vs Dennis Bryant – Light heavyweight

Alaska’s Dennis Bryant (5-1) brings his hard strikes and BJJ background to the table when he faces returning prospect Kennedy Nzechukwu (5-0). Bryant made his bones over at Alaska Fighting Championships and all of his wins have been finishes. He thrives on the ground and has a decent striking game, although he hasn’t faced higher caliber athletes yet. Nzechukwu remains undefeated in his pro career, using his range and good boxing game to carve up opponents while employing good takedown defense. Even while on his back, Kennedy finds ways to get back to his feet. Even though he’s a slow starter, Nzechukwu finds ways to outlast his opponents, which means Bryant should find ways to pace himself if he can’t finish him early.

Joseph Lowry vs Devonte Smith – Lightweight

Joseph Lowry (8-0) should make for very interesting viewing. He holds title belts for V3 and Caged Fury Fighting Championships, and he delivers some pretty hard shots. He’s got great top control and suffocates opponents with volume strikes from top position. His opponent Devonte Smith (7-1) hits pretty hard as well, with his lone loss against UFC fighter John Gunther and his most recent win over UFC veteran Justin Edwards. He’s a more dynamic all-around athlete with devastating speed and power.

Bobby Moffett vs Jacob Kilburn – Featherweight

MMA Lab’s Bobby Moffett (12-3) will try to outwork Tennessee’s Jacob Kilburn (6-1) at featherweight. Moffett came fell short in his attept to capture LFA gold against Ultimate Fighter contestant Thanh Le in January, but has back to back wins since then. That includes this nugget in his last outing, demonstrating how savage he can get. Kilburn has back to back wins over Florida’s Elvin Brito, with a very active kicking game and very unorthodox movement. His defense will be a problem, as he leaves his chin up and is confident in his movement while retreating straight back. That’s probably going to cost him here.

Alex Gilpin vs JR Coughran – Featherweight

Alex Gilpin (11-1) has a handful of submission wins by choke, and he’ll have a rough challenge against Oklahoma’s J.R. Coughran (6-0). Gilpin has a win over LFA’s Nate Jennerman and Finnish vet Joni Salovaara. He’s got a hard-nosed wrestling approach and doesn’t give up a single inch once he’s got his arms around someone. Coughran has some pretty impressive takedowns and seems to possess what is commonly known as Farm Strength™, as well as a mean left hand and great timing with his boxing.

Full fight card is as follows:

Greg Hardy vs Tebaris Gordon – Heavyweight

Kennedy Nzechukwu vs Dennis Bryant – Light heavyweight

Joseph Lowry vs Devonte Smith – Lightweight

Bobby Moffett vs Jacob Kilburn – Featherweight

Alex Gilpin vs JR Coughran – Featherweight

Dana White’s Tuesday Night Contender Series comes to its finale this week, starting Tuesday night at the usual start time of 8:00pm EST. The event streams exclusively via UFC Fight Pass.




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