Former Hoosier Fight Club Featherweight Champion and current HFC Lightweight Champion Michael Santiago (20-9) and current Cage Fury Fighting Championships Light Heavyweight champion Anton "The Body Snatcher" Berzin (5-1) are set to compete in Dana White's Tuesday Night Contender Series this Tuesday night LIVE on UFC Fight Pass.
This summer, Alliance MMA fighters have been competing on DWTNCS every week, some leaving with UFC contracts like Kurt Holobaugh and Karl Roberson. Both Berzin and Santiago are coming into their bouts hoping to become the next Alliance MMA star to make it to the big leagues by taking advantage of this unique opportunity.
Anton Berzin - CFFC Light Heavyweight Champion
In the main event of the evening, CFFC 205-pound titleholder Anton Berzin will face Kennedy "The African Savage" Nzechukwu. Berzin is a Ukranian transplant that calls the city of Philadelphia home. To the delight of his fans, Berzin captured the Cage Fury title in "The City of Brotherly Love" back in May at CFFC 65. "The Body Snatcher" lived up to his nickname that night by finishing Jamelle Jones with most a picture-perfect knee to the body.
Tomorrow's bout will be Berzin's second chance in the UFC as he once fought on the Ultimate Fighter Season 19 in 2013. Berzin made it into the TUF house by defeating Cody Mumma, but fell short against Pat Walsh in the semi-finals. After his exit from the show, Berzin experienced a two-and-a-half year layoff in what he called "A constant headache" in an interview with CFFC.tv. He struggled to find opponents until April of 2016 when he returned and finished Matt Thompson at CES 34. Now that he's put himself back on the map with two straight victories against high-level opponents, Berzin is back in Las Vegas fighting to achieve his dreams.
Michael Santiago - HFC Lightweight Champion
Michael Santiago will face "The Pride of Bloomsfield" Mark Cherico in a featherweight matchup between two of the very best 145-pound talents on the regional circuit. A native of Franklin Park, which is a small suburb right outside of Chicago, Santiago has taken the long road through the toughest and most trying stages of one's MMA career on his way to a 10-fight win streak.
Prior to finding his groove and truly tapping into his potential, Santiago had a borderline .500 record in 2014 and seemed to be one the outside looking in when it came to finally getting his chance with a national promotion. Looking ahead to the present, Santiago is riding high after two straight HFC title wins in his last two bouts, and he feels primed and ready to show Dana White and the UFC brass that his time has come.
Tune into UFC Fight Pass at 8pm Eastern tomorrow night to watch Berzin and Santiago fight on Dana White's Tuesday Night Contender Series.