Dana White’s Contender Series 2020 Week 9 Play-by-Play & Results

By: Tristen Critchfield
Nov 11, 2020
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Danny Sabatello (135.5) vs. Taylor Moore (135.5)

Round 1

Moore stalks Sabatello, who lands a kick to the body and then plants Moore on his back with a takedown less than 30 seconds into the fight. Sabatello works inside of his foe’s guard, landing short punches to the body and elbows to the head. Sabatello stands with Moore attached to him and slams him back down. Moore remains in closed guard, as Sabatello drops several more elbows from above. There’s two minutes to go and Sabatello has stayed busy enough with ground-and-pound to maintain his dominant position. Sabatello continues to do a nice job of vary his offense from above, mixing up punches to the head and body as the clock ticks down. The horn sounds with Moore having spent the majority of the round on his back.

Sherdog Scores

Tristen Critchfield scores the round: 10-9 Sabatello
Keith Shillan scores the round: 10-9 Sabatello
Brian Knapp scores the round: 10-9 Sabatello

Round 2

Moore comes out and quickly lands a hard low kick. Moments later, Moore shoots for a takedown, but Sabatello sprawls and spins around to Moore’s back. Moore stands only to get shoved back down to his knees. Sabatello looks to work his way to the back as he peppers him with short punches to the ribs. Sabatello briefly slides his arm under the chin until Moore spins to his back. Sabatello lands in half guard and drops some elbows before Moore recovers full guard. Now the action is taking on the look of Round 1, as Sabatello remains active with ground-and-pound from inside full guard while Moore looks largely helpless from his back. Moore tries to force a scramble briefly, but Sabatello clears his legs and gets back into top position. Sabatello stacks his man up and drops a punch to the head. Less than minute to go and Moore shows no signs of getting to his feet. Sabatello drops a couple forceful elbows as he ends the round on top. The two bantamweights exchange trash talk on their way to their corners.

Sherdog Scores

Tristen Critchfield scores the round: 10-9 Sabatello
Keith Shillan scores the round: 10-9 Sabatello
Brian Knapp scores the round:10-9 Sabatello

Round 3

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Sabatello was far more bark than bite.
They trade kicks early in the round before Moore sprawls on a Sabatello takedown. Sabatello pushes his man into the fence and drags him to the mat on his second effort. Moore is in a familiar position on his back as Sabatello moves him toward the fence. Moore urges his opponent to “do something” from his back, but he has no other answers beyond talk, and Sabatello continues to have success with consistent ground-and-pound. Sabatello passes to half guard at about the 2:30 mark, where he lands some punches to the side of the head. Sabatello looks to free his other leg and nearly steps into mount. Moore shifts his hips and recovers half guard. Referee Mark Smith calls for Sabatello to work, and the American Top Team product obliges with more strikes from above. Moore briefly kicks Sabatello off, but he is immediately grounded again near the fence with about 60 seconds remaining. Sabatello lands more punches and elbows from above before letting his foe up with seconds left. Sabatello lands an uppercut as Moore returns to his feet just before the horn.

Sherdog Scores

Tristen Critchfield scores the round: 10-9 Sabatello (30-27 Sabatello)
Keith Shillan scores the round: 10-9 Sabatello (30-27 Sabatello)
Brian Knapp scores the round:10-9 Sabatello (30-27 Sabatello)

The Official Result

Danny Sabatello def. Taylor Moore via Unanimous Decision (30-24, 30-25, 30-26) R3 5:00

Luana Pinheiro (115.5) vs. Stephanie Frausto (115)

Round 1

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Pinheiro ran right through Frausto.
It’s a tentative beginning as both strawweights look for openings. Frausto is attacking with low kicks early, and Pinheiro answers with an inside low kick of her own. After two minutes, neither fighter has landed much in the way of significant offense. Pinheiro misses on an overhand and Frausto answers with a low kick. After approximately 2:30 of tepid activity, Pinheiro suddenly flashes her power. She pressures forward, and a left hook-right hand combination drops Frausto. Pinheiro follows up with about five follow-up shots of ground-and-pound before Jason Herzog pulls her off.That makes seven finishes among eight professional victories for the 26-year-old Brazilian.

The Official Result

Luana Pinheiro def. Stephanie Frausto via KO (Punches) R1 2:48

Joseph Lowry (155) vs. Nikolas Motta (155)

Round 1

Both lightweights connect in close quarters during an initial exchange. Lowry presses the action and lands a combination before backing up. Motta sticks a jab as Lowry moves in. Lowry answers with a left to the body followd by a low kick. A heavy left hook connects for Motta during another exchange, and that backs Lowry up. Lowry follows an errant flying knee with another nice combination near the fence. They trade wildly in the pocket and while they both land, again it’s a counter left from Motta that gives Lowry pause. A big counter right knocks Lowry off balance momentarily, as it’s becoming apparent that Motta possesses the superior power. Motta kicks the body and then the legs. Another spirited exchange ends the round, and Motta again proves to be more powerful and accurate.

Sherdog Scores

Tristen Critchfield scores the round: 10-9 Motta
Keith Shillan scores the round: 10-9 Motta
Brian Knapp scores the round:10-9 Motta

Round 2

Motta sticks a jab early, and Lowry accidentally pokes his foe in the eye. After a brief pause the fight resumes. Motta ends a combination with a heavy left hand that snaps Lowry’s head back. A counter right hand finds the home for Motta. Lowry jabs the body twice. They trade again, and Motta tees off with heavy shots near the fence. Lowry is a sitting duck, and Motta bloodies Lowry’s nose before the American finally circles off the cage. Lowry’s nose appears to be broken as a result of the attack. Lowry lands a nice right hand in another exchange that has Motta circling away for a moment. Lowry’s face is covered with blood now, as Motta counters with a crisp combination. A right hand followed by a left high kick lands for Motta and he stuns Lowry with a left. Motta goes on the attack, but Lowry sticks a straight right. Lowry continues to go to the jab to the body. Motta lands one more heavy combination before defending a takedown at the horn.

Sherdog Scores

Tristen Critchfield scores the round: 10-9 Motta
Keith Shillan scores the round: 10-9 Motta
Brian Knapp scores the round: 10-9 Motta

Round 3

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Motta consistently beat Lowry to the punch.
Motta lands a stiff jab to open the frame, and follows up with another heavy combination during an ensuing exchange. A left to the body lands for Lowry and Motta circles away. Lowry eats a pair of hooks from Motta. Lowry forces the action and lands a right. A left hook from Motta backs up Lowry. Lowry lands a combination and he walks down the Brazilian. A nice straight right connects for Motta, and Lowry answers with a one-two. Motta blocks a high kick, and fires off a multi-punch combination. A left hook lands for Motta, and Mark Smith tells Lowry to fight back. Lowry is still in the fight, however, and he rushes forward with a combination. Motta makes lowry pause with a high kick and then tags him with a left jab moments later. They clinch, and Lowry turns Motta into the fence and changes levels for a takedown. Lowry lands some short knees as Motta defends against the fence. Lowry drops for the takedown again, but Motta is able to remain upright until the horn.

Sherdog Scores

Tristen Critchfield scores the round: 10-9 Motta (30-27 Motta)
Keith Shillan scores the round: 10-9 Motta (30-27 Motta)
Brian Knapp scores the round: 10-9 Motta (30-27 Motta)

The Official Result

Nikolas Motta def. Joseph Lowry via Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27) R3 5:00

Shaheen Santana (158) vs. Natan Levy (159)

Round 1

Santana counters a low kick with a right hand. Santana pressures early and connects with a left on the chin. Levy shakes it off as the fighters tie up. Levy lands some hard knees to the head before Santana is able to separate. Santana locks up Levy again and drives him into the cage. Levy reverses the position and eventually dumps his foe on the mat. Levy lands in side control and looks to lock up a kimura. He lets it go and Santana attempts to push off the cage. After a scramble, Santana lands some hammerfists from his back. Santana is active with his guard, framing a reverse triangle. Levy defends it well and moves back into side control. Levy nearly passes to mount but settles for knee on belly before going back to side control. Levy lands a couple shots from above. Levy lands a couple short punches from side control before the horn.

Sherdog Scores

Tristen Critchfield scores the round: 10-9 Levy
Keith Shillan scores the round: 10-9 Levy
Brian Knapp scores the round: 10-9 Levy

Round 2

Levy opens with a high kick, a body kick and a spinning wheel kick, although none land clean. Moments later, Levy backs up Santana with a big left hand. He rocks Santa with a kick and gets Santana down. Santana is resilient, as he reverses to Levy’s back and maintains a body triangle as Levy stands. Levy wants to shuck his foe off the top, and Santana transitions to an armbar as he falls off the side. Levy pulls the arm out without issue and sets up in Santana’s guard. Levy stays heavy from side control and unloads with several right hands to the body. He switches his focus to the head with more purposeful ground-and-pound. Levy is still controlling the position. He stands and drops some standing-to-ground punches before taking top position again before the horn.

Sherdog Scores

Tristen Critchfield scores the round: 10-9 Levy
Keith Shillan scores the round: 10-9 Levy
Brian Knapp scores the round: 10-9 Levy

Round 3

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Levy stayed unblemished at 6-0.
Santana begins with a front kick and secures a body lock behind a punch. Levy reverses position and trips his opponent to the mat. Levy is back on top in full guard, and he’s framing an arm-triangle choke. Levy applies heavy shoulder pressure and eventually passes to full mount. Moments later, Santana goes out and this one is over.

The Official Result

Natan Levy def. Shaheen Santana via Technical Submission (Arm-Triangle Choke) R3 0:55

Mariusz Ksiazkiewicz (184.5) vs. Mario Filipe de Sousa (185.5)

Round 1

They touch gloves and the featured bout of the night is underway. Sousa goes high with a kick, but Ksiazkiewicz is able to block it. The Brazilian lands a hard front kick to the midsection and the middleweights trade punches briefly. Sousa continues to attack with kicks before Ksiazkiewicz punches his way into the clinch against the cage. Ksiazkiewicz has double underhooks and he eventually pulls Sousa off the fence and plants him on his back. Ksiazkiewicz lands right in side control, where he lands some right hands to the side of the head. More short shots land for Ksiazkiewicz, but Sousa is able to assume top position after a scramble. Sousa postures up and drops a heavy elbow. Sousa creates some space and lands more hard shots. Ksiazkiewicz tries to frame a triangle. Moments later, he briefly frames an armbar but Sousa frees himself. They scramble up and Sousa locks up a guillotine. Ksiazkiewicz is able ot pass guard and is out of danger now. Sousa recovers full guard and attacks with elbows from his back. Sousa lands a couple more elbows in the waning moments, including one that might’ve been late.

Sherdog Scores

Tristen Critchfield scores the round: 10-9 Sousa
Keith Shillan scores the round: 10-9 Sousa
Brian Knapp scores the round: 10-9 Sousa

Round 2

Sousa sticks a straight right at the outset and then stuns Ksiazkiewicz with a two-punch combination. Ksiazkiewicz covers up near the fence as the Brazilian tees off. Sousa lands an uppercut and a knee as Ksiazkiewicz grabs a single-leg and pushes his foe into the cage. Ksiazkiewicz locks his hands and takes Sousa down, setting up in half guard. Sousa looks to land elbows from his back before Ksiazkiewicz avoids a triangle and scrambles into side control. Ksiazkiewicz with some knees to the ribs. Ksiazkiewicz can’t lock in a brabo choke, but he is able to maintain top position in an ensuing scramble. Sousa recovers full guard and lands a hammerfist from his back. Sousa frames a triangle, but gives it up. Another hammerfist lands from Sousa, as Ksiazkiewicz passes to side control. Ksiazkiewicz lands some moderate ground-and-pound until the horn sounds.

Sherdog Scores

Tristen Critchfield scores the round: 10-9 Ksiazkiewicz
Keith Shillan scores the round: 10-9 Ksiazkiewicz
Brian Knapp scores the round: 10-9 Ksiazkiewicz

Round 3

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Sousa did enough to capture the decision.
They touch gloves again before the final round. They trade powerful shots, and Sousa lands a straight right and a knee to the gut before Ksiazkiewicz changes levels. He drives Sousa into the fence, lifts him and plants him on the canvas. Sousa fires off about five hammerfists from his back. Ksiazkiewicz is looking for a way to pass guard but instead settles back into guard. Ksiazkiewicz isn’t too active from above, and referee Mark Smith orders them back up. Ksiazkiewicz wades through some shots and presses Sousa into the fence. Ksiazkiewicz drops down, locks his hands and puts Sousa on his back again. Ksiazkiewicz is content to hold position, but he eats some hammerfists and an upkick. Ksiazkiewicz defends a triangle and falls back into full guard. Ksiazkiewicz absorbs more hammerfists before falling back for a heel hook. Sousa seems to have it under control. Ksiazkiewicz lets go of the hold and Sousa scrambles on top, dropping hammerfists and punches in the waning seconds. Ksiazkiewicz has just enough energy to reverse and land one more takedown before the horn.

Sherdog Scores

Tristen Critchfield scores the round: 10-9 Sousa (29-28 Sousa)
Keith Shillan scores the round: 10-9 Sousa (29-28 Sousa)
Brian Knapp scores the round: 10-9 Sousa (29-28 Sousa)

The Official Result

Mario Filipe de Sousa def. Mariusz Ksiazkiewicz via Unanimous Decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28) R3 5:00
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