Travis Lizotte "Full Contact Writer"
New Britain, Connecticut Flyweight Carlos "The Cannon" Candelario (8-0, Underdog MMA) ended a 4 year hiatus from competition earlier this month in Springfield, Massachusetts with a dominant Unanimous Decision victory over Miguel Restrepo (5-5-1) at CES 63. Candelario not only answered questions about his health; following an ACL tear in his Contender Series bout with Ronaldo Candido in 2017, but also answered any questions about his ever evolving prospect status, shutting out Restrepo over three dominant rounds in the CES 63 Co-Main event live on UFC Fightpass. It wasn't long after the Decision was rendered at CES 63 that Candelario would receive the call back to the Vegas desert, as he looks to capitalize on a second chance to fight in front of UFC brass at the UFC's Apex in Las Vegas tonight on Season 5 of the Dana White Tuesday Night Contender Series.
Candelario will step in on short notice to replace Vinicius Salvador (12-4) who had visa issues, as "The Cannon" will draw reigning LFA Flyweight Champion; Victor "El Magnifico" Altamirano (9-1) as he looks to seize his second opportunity to crack the UFC's Flyweight roster. Altamirano put a stamp on an already impressive pro career last time out, outlasting Contender Series alum; Nate Smith (6-2) to capture the vacant LFA Flyweight title by Unanimous Decision at LFA 100 in February. Week 1 of the 2021 Contenders Series kicks off tonight at 8 o'clock Eastern streaming live from the UFC's Apex on ESPN+, Candelario vs. Altamirano is currently scheduled to be the second bout to hit the cage tonight, as the pin drops on two of the country's most promising Flyweight prospects with one man likely leaving the Apex with a UFC contract in hand!
Contender Series Season 5 Week 1 Fight Card (8pm Eastern, ESPN+)
Azamat Murzakanov (9-0) vs. Matheus Scheffel (14-6)
Diego Lopes (19-3) vs. Joanderson Brito (11-2-1)
Victor Altamirano (9-1) vs. Carlos Candelario (8-0)
AJ Fletcher (8-0) vs. Leonardo Damiani (10-2-1)