Chinese Fighter Wins UFC Contract at “Dana White’s Contender Series”

Chinese mixed martial artist Maheshate beat Achilles Estremadura to secure a UFC contract from promotion head Dana White

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Matthew Bossons
12:20 AM HKT, Thu November 4, 2021 1 mins read

A big day and a big win for Chinese lightweight Maheshate (6-1) on November 2, as the Chengdu-born mixed martial artist defeated Achilles Estremadura by unanimous decision during week 10 of Dana White’s Contender Series Season 5.

Estremadura, who hails from Vancouver, Canada, was previously undefeated and now has a record of 7-1.

Maheshate’s performance secured him one of two UFC contracts handed out by promotion head Dana White during the episode, with the other awarded to Canadian fighter Yohan Lainesse (8-0).

Chinese Fighter Wins UFC Contract at "Dana White's Contender Series"

Maheshate following the announcement that he has won a shot at UFC glory. Screengrab via YouTube

During the post-fight contract-winner announcement, White noted that the UFC does not generally hand out contracts to fighters as young as Maheshate, who is 21 years old.

“[Maheshate] has a huge heart, huge chin, stayed composed when he was getting hit by big shots tonight, lands that flying knee, and basically ends up breaking Achilles,” said White. “He’s younger than somebody we would normally sign — he’s 21 years old, but with all the things he showed us tonight against a tough opponent … we’re definitely taking a shot on this kid.”

“I feel so great, and definitely this is a dream come true, but only 50% — I’ll have another 50% to conquer,” said Maheshate through a translator following White’s UFC contract offer. “[I] want to be a champion.”

Maheshate was the last fighter to earn a contract on this season of Dana White’s Contender Series, which began airing at the end of August.

China was well represented during the season finale of Dana White’s Contender Series Season 5, with three of the 10 men fighting in the episode hailing from the People’s Republic.

After three hard-fought rounds, Chinese flyweight Qiulun (14-8) lost to Brazilian Erisson Ferreira da Silva (11-1) by unanimous decision. Although, we’d argue that Qiulun won the first two rounds before slowing down in the third, which is something the UFC boss seems to agree with.

“I agree with Mike Bisping; I actually think that Qiulun [mispronounced] won the fight. I gave him two rounds to one,” said White while discussing the Silva-Quilun fight during the UFC contract announcements.

Qiulun grabs Silva’s leg during their bout during the final episode of Dana White’s Contender Series Season 5

Qiulun grabs Silva’s leg during their bout on the final episode of Dana White’s Contender Series Season 5. Screengrab via

Fellow Chinese flyweight fighter Shang Zhifa (32-8) also failed to secure victory in his match-up with American Juan Puerta (23-6), which was decided by split decision.

Dana White’s Contender Series is an American MMA promotion that involves weekly competitions among up-and-coming fighters looking for a chance to compete in the UFC.


For more lit content exploring the rise of MMA in China, check out our Way of the Warrior series.

Cover image: screengrab via YouTube

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Matthew Bossons
Nov 14, 2022
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