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Contender Series 2022: Week 3 preview, weigh-in results

One of the biggest crossover prospects has the spotlight this week, can he live up to the hype?

Nope. Still sticking with this logo.
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Bo Nickal (1-0) is in a bit of an unusual situation here.

An accomplished and decorated wrestler, he’s suddenly main eventing a (DWCS) Contender Series card in what is only his second professional MMA bout. A win here — especially a very decisive one — could land him in a very nice spot on the main roster of a middleweight division that could use some bolstering. His wins as a professional have come by a submission and the other two via strikes, so he’s not some one-dimensional wrestler or by-the-numbers wrestleboxer. This kid could be a massive threat in short order, but you get to see him here first.

And it seems like all things are leading to an eventual win for Nickal, considering his opponent Zack Borrego (3-0) doesn’t have nearly the same background. Plus, he missed weight for this fight, which is not a great sign. Borrego is a massive underdog here for very, very good reason. 3-0 on the Texas circuit can be respectable, especially with some amateur fights under your belt. But it’s a rough road ahead for him against Nickal.


Jamal Pogues (8-3) has toiled around in Bellator, Gladiator Challenge and LFA, and has fought a mixed bag of opponents. A decent sprawl and some heavy hands have been his allies for some time, and moving back up to heavyweight (after a Contender Series win in 2019) might be his ticket to finally getting into the UFC.

To do that, he needs to defeat Paulo Renato Jr (10-1), a Brazilian brawler that is also heavyset and hits pretty hard. But as (almost) always, there’s major red flags here.

Renato’s got a not-so-impressive record, though. Fighting guys that are 6-9, 6-10 and 6-14 makes you wonder what he’s ready for. Pogues is athletic enough and packs some firepower, so Renato needs to dig deep here to earn a win.


Edgar Chairez (8-3) has been a terror on the Mexican scene, and recently was seen on Embedded training with his friend Brandon Moreno. He’s lanky but has snappy punches, great lateral movement and long-guy submission work.

His opponent is Clayton Carpenter (get your Clay Guida jokes in now, please). Sitting pretty at 5-0, he’s got a very, very complete skillset with his submissions and strikes. Carpenter trains out of the MMA Lab in Arizona, and has fought some decent opposition in his time as a pro.

This ought to be fight of the night in my mind, no question. Both would be excellent additions to the flyweight division, which is in need of an infusion at this point.


Here’s highlights of the weigh-ins courtesy of the crew over at MMAJunkie:

Full card is as follows:

Bo Nickal (186.0) vs. Zachary Borrego (187.5)* - Middleweight

Jamal Pogues (248.5) vs. Paulo Renato Jr. (221.0) - Heavyweight

Erik Silva (146.0) vs. Anvar Boynazarov (144.0) - Featherweight

Edgar Chairez (124.5) vs. Clayton Carpenter (125.0) - Flyweight

Sandra Lavado (116.0) vs. Karolina Wojcik (115.5)

Dana White’s Contender Series brightens up your week this Tuesday night starting at 8:00pm EST. This event streams live and exclusively on ESPN+.