Dana White’s Contender Series 2021 Week 8 Play-by-Play & Results

By: Ben Duffy
Oct 19, 2021

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James Barnes (135) vs. Pedro Falcao (136)

Round 1

The evening kicks off with bantamweights Falcao (14-3) and Barnes (14-4), with referee Mike Beltran set to tower over the action. Both men set up in orthodox stance and exchange a few tentative strikes. Barnes steps in and clinches, pushing Falcao to the fence. 90 seconds in, the Brazilian reverses position and pushes Barnes into the cage, throwing some short knees up the middle. They disengage and a moment later, Barnes shoots for a takedown but is stood up by Falcao. Barnes drives the action to the cage again and looks to drop levels, but Falcao defends well with an overhook. They disengage and end the round throwing single strikes at range. The horn sounds on a tense, close five minutes.

Sherdog Scores

Ben Duffy scores the round: 10-9 Barnes
Tristen Critchfield scores the round: 10-9 Barnes
Mike Fridley scores the round: 10-9 Barnes

Round 2

Both men are active to start the second round, with Barnes in particular throwing kicks and feinting. Barnes goes for a clinch, but Falcao shucks him off a moment later and drops levels for a clean takedown. Falcao sets up on top in half-guard near the fence and lands some short strikes. Barnes scrambles and tries to escape, but Falcao is all over him and ends up in side control. Barnes pivots and wall-walks to get back to his feet, then turns and works to get Falcao off his back using the fence. Falcao hoists Barnes and slams him back down, moving promptly to side control once again. Barnes works to keep Falcao off balance, but Falcao steps over to mount. Barnes looks about to give up his back, but elects to stay supine and Falcao looks for an arm-triangle choke. Barnes defends well, and Falcao ends the round throwing punches from mount. Dominant frame of ground work for the man from Nova Uniao.

Sherdog Scores

Ben Duffy scores the round: 10-8 Falcao
Tristen Critchfield scores the round: 10-9 Falcao
Mike Fridley scores the round: 10-9 Falcao

Round 3

Falcao runs Barnes right to the fence, then elevates him for a belly-to-belly slam. Barnes quickly reverses position, pops up and takes Falcao down at the base of the fence. A minute and a half in, Falcao has a front headlock. Barnes stands up and they disengage. Barnes shoots a takedown from way outside and Falcao is all over it. Falcao lands on top, in the American’s full guard. They scoot to the fence and Falcao passes to half guard. He throws short punches to the ribs and drives a forearm into Barnes’ chin and neck. Two minutes left, Barnes squirms away from the fence but Falcao is right on top of him, continuing to throw short strikes while working to pass to mount. He gets mount and is raining down punches. Barnes turns to his side and covers up as Beltran looks on closely. After a few more unanswered blows, the ref has seen enough and halts the beating.

The Official Result

Pedro Falcao def. James Barnes R3 3:55 via TKO (Punches)

Armen Petrosyan (201.5) vs. Kaloyan Kolev (205.5)

Round 1

Light heavyweights Petrosyan (5-1) and Kolev (10-0) square off, with Chris Tognoni the third man in the Octagon. They exchange a few feints and low kicks from orthodox stance, but Kolev wastes no time in dropping levels for a takedown. Petrosyan pops right back up, and Kolev takes his back and brings hin down once again, emphatically. Kolev keeps the taller man’s back for a moment, but Petrosyan regains his feet, turns in and gets back to the clinch. Petrosyan has an overhook as Kolev drives him into the cage, throwing short punches to the head. Kolev drops for a single-leg and hauls Petrosyan down, moving to the back as the Armenian gets back up. Petrosyan spins into him again and takes the overhook. They separate and Petrosyan promptly lights him up with two hard kicks. Kolev rushes back in behind an overhand, clinching and running Petrosyan to the fence. Petrosyan pushes him off and lands a three-piece combination. Kolev staggers back and Petrosyan is all over him, lighting him up with a head kick as Kolev is ducking. Kolev falls to his seat in a daze, and Tognoni is already rushing in for the stop as Petrosyan finishes the job with a pair of standing-to-ground punches. Great knockout for the Armenian, who hands Kolev his first career loss in the bargain.

The Official Result

Armen Petrosyan def. Kaloyan Kolev R1 4:27 via KO (Head Kick and Punches)

Caio Borralho (204) vs. Jesse Murray (203)

Round 1

We stay in the 205-pound division as Borralho returns just three weeks after his Week 5 win and steps up a weight class to meet Murray. Mike Beltran is your referee. Murray throws a couple of low kicks from orthodox against Borralho’s southpaw, karate-style stance. Borralho measures Murray for a left high kick that glances. A moment later, he nails Murray with a straight left down the pipe, then, a few moments later, a right hook. Murray collapses to the canvas and Borralho swarms with punches and hammerfists until Beltran is forced to intervene. The quick and nasty knockout from “The Natural” makes it three straight to start the evening.

The Official Result

Caio Borralho def. Jesse Murray R1 1:41 via TKO (Punches)

Valesca Machado (115.5) vs. Piera Rodriguez (115.5)

Round 1

In the lone women’s bout of the evening, the highly touted Rodriguez (6-0) meets Brazil’s Machado, with Chris Tognoni overseeing the proceedings. The strawweights take matching orthodox stances and it’s Machado who strikes first, flicking out a couple of low kicks. Machado throws a head kick that slaps off Rodriguez’s high guard. A minute in, the Venezuelan is stalking forward, still not having committed to much offense. Rodriguez lands a one-two that spills Machado to the canvas, more off-balance than hurt, but Machado is tagged again as she stands. Rodriguez drops for a double-leg and drives Machado to her seat, but Machado pops back up and uses the fence to stand. Halfway through the round, they meet in the center of the cage. Machado lands a left and ducks away from a murderous counter. Machado lands another high kick off Rodriguez’s forearm. Rodriguez rushes forward with punches, backs Machado into the fence and lands a combination before the taller woman can slide out. Rodriguez runs Machado to the fence and looks for a takedown, but Machado defends well using overhooks, cutting Rodriguez open with a sneaky elbow in the process. They break and Rodriguez tries one more takedown before the horn.

Sherdog Scores

Ben Duffy scores the round: 10-9 Rodriguez
Tristen Critchfield scores the round: 10-9 Rodriguez
Mike Fridley scores the round: 10-9 Rodriguez

Round 2

The second round begins as the first did, with Machado the aggressor and the first to throw. Machado lands a clean right hand. Rodriguez comes forward behind a one-two that glance off. Machado throws a front kick up the middle and is countered with a hard right-left combo. A moment later, Machado lands a hard body kick and eats a counter left. Both women are landing with audible impact. At the midpoint of the round, they land simultaneous kicks. Rodriguez shoots a slow double-leg, switches to a single, but Machado escapes easily and gets off the fence. Rodriguez tries a spinning back elbow, but Machado ducks under it and runs Rodriguez into the cage. Rodriguez reverses position and looks for a takedown. Machado uses an overhook to defend, and Rodriguez drops for a single-leg. The horn sounds with the two jockeying for position against the fence.

Sherdog Scores

Ben Duffy scores the round: 10-9 Machado
Tristen Critchfield scores the round: 10-9 Machado
Mike Fridley scores the round: 10-9 Machado

Round 3

Rodriguez marches forward to start the final frame, with Machado bouncing around the outside and looking to counter. Machado comes forward with a long, straight right that tags Rodriguez’s chin. Rodriguez backs up and Machado gives chase. Rodriguez drops for a takedown, lifts and deposits Machado on the canvas, but Rodriguez doesn’t concede the position. She scoots back to the fence and uses it to stand back up. With two minutes left, Machado looks to be very much the fresher woman. Rodriguez tries for another takedown, but Machado shucks her off and runs her to the fence. Machado presses her into the cage and lands short strikes. Rodriguez spins them around, drops levels and gets a surprisingly easy-looking takedown. She lands a couple of hammerfists before Machado manages to stand back up. Machado is standing straight up, though, and Rodriguez easily dumps her back to the floor, where she moves to mount and drops a few more strikes before the final horn.

Sherdog Scores

Ben Duffy scores the round: 10-9 Rodriguez (29-28 Rodriguez)
Tristen Critchfield scores the round: 10-9 Rodriguez (29-28 Rodriguez)
Mike Fridley scores the round: 10-9 Rodriguez (29-28 Rodriguez)

The Official Result

Piera Rodriguez def. Valesca Machado via Unanimous Decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)

Solomon Renfro (170) vs. Jonny Parsons (171)

Round 1

The final fight of the evening features welterweights Renfro (8-1) and Parsons (7-2), who — don’t let the cornrows fool you — is an immediate contender for the gallery of greatest mullets in mixed martial arts if he wins. Mike Beltran, who knows a thing or two about controlling hair at work, draws the referee assignment. Parsons sets up in southpaw, Renfro in orthodox, and Parsons immediately fires off a couple of left body kicks to the open side. Renfro bounces into range with a body punch, then another. Parsons lands a body kick and Renfro just misses with a counter over the top. They collide in boxing range and Renfro lands a crushing body shot. Renfro follows up with another couple of punches and Parsons is hurt. He staggers back to the fence and Renfro follows, looking for the finish. Parsons composes himself and returns fire with a combo of his own. With two minutes left, Parsons lands a stinging outside leg kick, and appears to be fully recovered. Renfro catches Parsons with a left that drops him, and pounces, but Parsons is right back to his feet. Parsons catches the onrushing Renfro with a knee to the midsection. It lands with authority, but doesn’t prevent Renfro from getting to his body and landing a takedown. Renfro gets off a couple of ground strikes before Parsons gets back up. They end the first round exchanging near the fence.

Sherdog Scores

Ben Duffy scores the round: 10-9 Renfro
Tristen Critchfield scores the round: 10-9 Renfro
Mike Fridley scores the round: 10-9 Renfro

Round 2

Both men are in orthodox stance to open Round 2, and Parsons lands a couple of low kicks. Renfro answers with jabs and a one-two. Renfro goes to the body with a right hand that lands on the ribs. Parsons keeps up a stream of inside and outside leg kicks. Parsons throws a question-mark kick that slaps off Renfro’s forearm, and Renfro answers with another body punch. At the halfway point of the fight, the pace has slowed a bit as the welterweights take turns throwing single hard shots. Renfro steps in and uses a double-leg to elevate and drop Parsons to the floor. Under a minute left, Renfro passes to half-guard and appears to be trying to frame an arm-triangle choke as he works to extricate his left from Parsons’ guard. The round ends.

Sherdog Scores

Ben Duffy scores the round: 10-9 Renfro
Tristen Critchfield scores the round: 10-9 Renfro
Mike Fridley scores the round: 10-9 Renfro

Round 3

Parsons launches a running, flying knee to start the third round, but the result is more of a collision than a cleanly landed strike. Renfro goes right back to the body work, and Parsons is coming back with punches more often than the kicks he used in the earlier rounds. Now Parsons throws a body kick. Renfro shoots for a takedown, but Parsons easily gets his hips out of reach and leaves Renfro on his knees, reaching. They reset in the center of the cage and Parsons lands another body kick that draws a reaction from Renfro. Parsons steps in with a knee and a punch, both of which glance. 90 seconds left and it’s still anyone’s round, though if our guess is right, Parsons needs more than just to win this frame. Renfro throws a jab, right cross and low kick. Parsons rushes forward just seconds before the horn. Both men raise their arms as it sounds.

Sherdog Scores

Ben Duffy scores the round: 10-9 Parsons (29-28 Renfro)
Tristen Critchfield scores the round: 10-9 Parsons (29-28 Renfro)
Mike Fridley scores the round: 10-9 Parsons (29-28 Renfro)

The Official Result

Jonny Parsons def. Solomon Renfro via Unanimous Decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)

CONTRACTS

After deliberation, White offers UFC contracts to Armen Petrosyan, Caio Borralho, Piera Rodriguez and Jonny Parsons. Of the winners, only Falcao leaves empty-handed.
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