Viacheslav Borshchev made quite an impression.
The Team Alpha Male representative was one of three mixed martial arts hopefuls to earn an Ultimate Fighting Championship contract on Week 7 of Dana White’s Contender Series, as he knocked out the previously unbeaten Chris Duncan in the second round of their lightweight firefight. Duncan (7-1) hit the deck in a semi-conscious state just 28 seconds into Round 2.
Borshchev (4-1) operated behind a punishing jab in the first round, where he had the Scotsman reeling on more than one occasion—first with a multi-punch burst and later with a brutal body kick. Duncan answered with takedowns, positional control and ground-and-pound but failed to turn the corner with his short-lived momentum. Early in the middle stanza, Borshchev stepped out of range from a lunging right hand and clipped his counterpart with an exquisite counter left hook. No follow-up shots were necessary.
In addition to the 29-year-old Borshchev, UFC President Dana White awarded contracts to reigning Cage Warriors Fighting Championship titleholder Jake Hadley and Spartakus Fight Gym export Martin Buday.
The undefeated Hadley submitted “The Ultimate Fighter” Season 29 graduate Mitch Raposo with a rear-naked choke in the second round of their flyweight feature. Hadley (8-0), who missed weight for the match by one pound, brought it to a close 3:11 into Round 2.
Raposo (5-0) more than held his own in the first round, where he delivered a pair of takedowns and managed to navigate the Team Fearless rep’s spidery guard. He was not as successful in the middle stanza. Hadley backed up a body kick with a takedown, transitioned to the back and zeroed in on the neck. He locked up the choke on the chin, at which point his considerable squeeze proved to be too much for Raposo to bear.
Hadley now has four submissions to his credit, all by rear-naked choke.
Meawnhile, the monstrous 6-foot-5, 265-pound Buday put away Lorenzo Hood with a close-range knee strike in the first round of their heavyweight encounter. Buday (9-1) drew the curtain 4:56 into Round 1, as he extended his winning streak to eight bouts.
Hood (12-5) missed his window opportunity. The Chicago Fight Team product managed to free himself from Buday’s clutches in the clinch, staggered him with a left hook and teed off with follow-up punches. The Slovakian refused to wilt, closed the distance once again and trapped Hood against the fence. From there, Buday wore down the World Series of Fighting alum with crushing knee strikes to the legs and body punches before closing it out with a well-timed kill shot upstairs.
The loss was Hood’s first since June 17, 2016.
Elsewhere, Roufusport standout Christian Rodriguez outstruck Reyes Cortez Jr. to a clear-cut unanimous decision in a three-round bantamweight battle. Rodriguez (6-0), whose inability to make weight—he missed by a pound—cost him a contract, swept the scorecards with 30-27 marks across the board.
Cortez (5-2) lacked the weaponry he needed to alter the complexion of the fight. Rodriguez leaned on airtight takedown defense, forced his counterpart to engage him on the feet and cut loose with two-, three- and four-punch combinations to the head. The two men wandered into the clinch often, but Cortez found no refuge there. Rodriguez handled his business with traditional fare while mixing in powerful shoulder strikes on occasion.
The setback snapped Cortez’s two-fight winning streak.
Finally, Dragon Kombat prospect Maria Silva kept her perfect professional record intact, as she laid claim to a unanimous decision over Kathryn Paprocki in a three-round women’s strawweight pairing. All three cageside judges scored it the same: 30-27 for Silva (7-0).
Paprocki (3-2) was out of her depth. Silva controlled every phase of the fight but did her best work in the second and third rounds, where she executed multiple takedowns, floated from one dominant position to the next and threatened with chokes and cranks. Only the finish was lacking for the promising 25-year-old Brazilian.