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If you're looking for the next generation of MMA stars, there is only one place to look - the Contender Series.
The weekly UFC promotion puts the hottest talent against each other in a bid for a UFC contract. It's a great watch, with the likes of Sean O'Malley and Maycee Barber, not to mention so many others, all coming through it to become professionals as an Ultimate Fighter.
Now, over five years into the competition promoted by Dana White, here are all the details you need to know to tune in...
When is Dana White's Contender Series?Getty Images
Dana White's Contender Series has been running since 2017 and has expanded significantly. It usually takes place between August and the end of October/ start of November. The 2023 edition will run from August 8, 2023, until October 10.
Between that period, there are fight nights as part of the Contender Series each week, which take place on Tuesday evenings, live from the UFC Apex in Las Vegas. Each week, multiple contenders are awarded a UFC contract based on their performances on the night.
How to watch Dana White's Contender SeriesGetty Images
If you want to watch Dana White's Contender Series, there is only one way to do so: through an ESPN+ subscription. You won't find it on ESPN channels and only through the digital streaming platform provided by the network.
All events and all fights are available to stream through ESPN+, with the action underway at 8pm ET and 5pm PT. A subscription to ESPN+ costs $9.99 per month. However, there are other packages alongside this, with a discount available by paying for an entire year's subscription at $99.99. You can also purchase a $12.99 per month package, which also bundles in Disney+ and Hulu.
Of course, as well as Dana White's Contender Series, you'll find a wealth of other sports available to stream, including soccer, NFL, MLB and more, alongside other UFC content and events.
How Does the Contender Series Format Work?
The idea behind Dana White's Contender Series is essentially for the UFC President to scout out talent for the UFC and offer new contracts. He's been clear in the past to state that this isn't the UFC but rather an opportunity for fighters from all over the world to get a chance to showcase their talents.
The format itself sees contracts up for grabs every Tuesday throughout the season, with several typically handed out each week. There's no knockout-style format, but more a series of exhibition bouts for fighters to show what they can do. It's their one shot to get in on the action. There will be around five fights across the Tuesday evenings, covering various weight classes.
Who are the most successful fighters to come through Dana White's Contender Series?
Some real stars of the UFC have earned their shot through the Contender Series down the years, and every season, there are even more that sign their UFC contract and go on to become challengers in the biggest MMA promotion on the planet.
Jamahal Hill is one of only two fighters to have won a UFC title after earning his contract in 2019, while Sean O'Malley earned the Bantamweight Championship belt in August 2023, beating Aljamain Sterling at UFC 292.
Several other stars have come through the Dana White Contender Series, where you think it's only a matter of time before we watch them in a UFC numbered event, battling it out for a championship belt.
Jailton Almeida has picked up a number of Performance of the Night awards since he entered the UFC, while Maycee Barber is among the top female stars around today alongside Taila Santos, who missed out on a belt in June 2022, losing to Valentina Shevchenko at UFC 275.
In total, Dana White's Contender Series has handed out around 200 contracts.
Can I watch Dana White Contender Series through other platforms like fuboTV?
Unfortunately, while you can receive the ESPN Network through FuboTV, SlingTV and DirecTV, you can only watch the Dana White Contender Series via ESPN's own streaming platform, ESPN+. This means that to watch every season of the Contender Series, you need to sign up for an ESPN+ account.
When did the first Dana White Contender Series take place?
The first of Dana White's Contender Series events occurred in July 2017 and included just eight shows across the season. The first season saw Sean O'Malley sign with the UFC, as well as Kurt Holobaugh, Karl Robinson and Julian Marquez, to name a few.
Will there be a Series 8 of Dana White's Contender Series?
The contract with ESPN+ in its current form runs out at the end of 2023, Series 7 of the Contender Series. However, it is believed a two-year extension was signed early on. Dana White has spoken out in recent months, claiming we could see future seasons of it on linear television, opening up various stream options outside of your ESPN+ subscription.