Fresh Ink: Meet the 32 fighters the UFC signed in August 2022 – MMA Junkie

The UFC roster is bigger than ever – and it continues to expand.
Fresh faces appear on nearly every card, whether onboarded as short-notice opening fillers, Dana White’s Contender Series signees, or the increasingly rare straight-up additions. Sometimes, it’s hard to keep track of the hustle and bustle of the mixed martial arts news beat, but here at MMA Junkie, we’ve got you covered.
“Fresh Ink” is your list of fighters added to the UFC roster the previous month and provides background on who they are and where they came from.
Scroll below to check out the 32 fighters the promotion inked in August 2022.
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – AUGUST 23: (R-L) Jesus Aguilar of Mexico battles Erisson Ferreira of Brazil in a flyweight fight during Dana White’s Contender Series season six, week five at UFC APEX on August 23, 2022 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC)
Record when signed: 8-1
Signing type: DWCS
Weight class: Flyweight
Age: 26
Debut: TBA
The skinny: Jesus Santos Aguilar is yet another Latin American fighter to join the UFC in recent months. He earned his contract on DWCS with a guillotine-choke submission – his signature maneuver.

Record when signed: 4-1
Signing type: Straight-up
Weight class: Women’s strawweight
Age: 32
Debut: TBA
The skinny: Irina Alekseeva is a multitime silver medalist in international competition, which is where her nickname “Russian Ronda” stems from. Originally spotlighted when she signed with Bellator in 2021, Alekseeva recently was granted her release from the promotion after a 1-0 promotional tenure. She will drop from flyweight to strawweight for her debut, sources recently told MMA Junkie.
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – AUGUST 02: Waldo Cortes-Acosta of the Dominican Republic reacts after his TKO victory over Danilo Suzart of Brazil in a heavyweight fight during Dana White’s Contender Series season six, week two at UFC APEX on August 02, 2022 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC)
Record when signed: 7-0
Signing type: DWCS
Weight class: Heavyweight
Age: 30
Debut: Oct. 29 vs. Jared Vanderaa (12-9 MMA, 1-5 UFC) at UFC Fight Night in Las Vegas
The skinny: Major MMA promotions can always use promising, (relatively) young big men to spruce up their roster. At Dana White’s Contender Series, Waldo Cortes-Acosta finished Danilo Suzart with strikes in Round 1. It was his fifth career finish and enough to earn him a UFC contract. Prior to MMA, Cortes-Acosta was a promising baseball prospect, then boxed professionally.
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – AUGUST 30: Blake Bilder reacts after being awarded a UFC contract during Dana White’s Contender Series season six, week six at UFC APEX on August 30, 2022 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC)
Record when signed: 7-0-1
Signing type: DWC
Weight class: Featherweight
Age: 31
Debut: TBA
The skinny: Blake Bilder was a little too old for Dana White at face value, but his performance on DWCS sold the brass anyway. Bilder, a CFFC champ, was signed after he picked up his fourth career submission – a first-round rear-naked choke of Canada’s Alex Morgan.

Record when signed: 12-4
Signing type: Short-notice
Weight class: Bantamweight
Age: 28
Debut: Draw vs. Youssef Zalal at UFC on ESPN
The skinny: Da’Mon Blackshear took the difficult road to the UFC, never turning down a tough challenge from the time he turned pro in 2016. Though he took a few losses, Blackshear elevated his game with a switch to Jackson Wink MMA in Albuquerque, N.M. and won a CFFC title. He jumped in on days’ notice against Youssef Zalal for his UFC debut Aug. 13 in San Diego and fought to a draw.
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – AUGUST 09: Clayton Carpenter prepares to fight Edgar Chairez of Mexico in a flyweight fight during Dana White’s Contender Series season six, week three at UFC APEX on August 09, 2022 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC)
Record when signed: 6-0
Signing type: DWCS
Weight class: Flyweight
Age: 26
Debut: TBA
The skinny: Clayton Carpenter represents the next generation of fighters coming out of The MMA Lab. Under the tutelage of John Crouch, Carpenter compiled an undefeated record en route to DWCS. It was a tough-fought battle and he walked away with a badly swollen eye, but Carpenter got the job done with a unanimous decision win over a gritty and game Edgar Chairez.
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – AUGUST 16: Hailey Cowan prepares to fight Claudia Leite of Brazil in a bantamweight fight during Dana White’s Contender Series season six, week four at UFC APEX on August 16, 2022 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC)
Record when signed: 7-2
Signing type: DWCS
Weight class: Women’s bantamweight
Age: 30
Debut: TBA
The skinny: A former NCAA athlete in acrobatics at Baylor University, Hailey Cowan was highlighted as a crossover athlete from the moment she stepped into the cage for MMA competition. While it was a slow process to the top, Cowan showed Dana White she’s ready for the big leagues (and has the “it factor”) when she defeated Claudia Leite via split decision.
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – AUGUST 30: Viktoriia Dudakova of Russia prepares to fight Maria Silva of Brazil in a strawweight fight during Dana White’s Contender Series season six, week six at UFC APEX on August 30, 2022 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC)
Record when signed: 6-0
Signing type: DWCS
Weight class: Women’s strawweight
Age: 23
Debut: TBA
The skinny: DWCS was an experience of firsts for Viktoriya Dudakova. She fought in front of Dana White for the first time. She fought with a torn knee for the first time. She went the distance for the first time. Dudakova earned an offer from White, who was thoroughly impressed with the Russian fighter’s performance.
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – AUGUST 30: Sedriques Dumas reacts after his submission victory over Matej Penaz of the Czech Republic in a middleweight fight during Dana White’s Contender Series season six, week six at UFC APEX on August 30, 2022 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC)
Record when signed: 7-0
Signing type: DWCS
Weight class: Middleweight
Age: 27
Debut: TBA
The skinny: Perhaps one of the most attention-capturing figures of DWCS, Season 6, “The Slim Reaper” Sedriques Dumas made quick work of Metaj Penaz with a 47-second, contract-earning standing guillotine choke submission. The win brought his finish total up to six in seven pro fights.
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – AUGUST 02: (R-L) Chris Duncan of Scotland punches Charlie Campbell in a lightweight fight during Dana White’s Contender Series season six, week two at UFC APEX on August 02, 2022 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC)
Record when signed: 9-1
Signing type: DWCS
Weight class: Lightweight
Age: 29
Debut: TBA
The skinny: There are great comebacks and then there’s what Chris Duncan pulled off to earn his UFC deal. Stunned multiple times in the early moments of his DWCS bout, Duncan knocked out a charging Charlie Campbell in improbable fashion. His UFC deal came after a failed DWCS attempt and brief stint in Bellator. Duncan joins Paul Craig and Joanne Wood as the only representatives of Scotland on the roster.

Record when signed: 13-3-1
Signing type: Short-notice
Weight class: Featherweight
Age: 27
Debut: Saturday vs. William Gomis (10-2 MMA, 0-0 UFC) at UFC Fight Night 209 in Paris
The skinny: The UFC came knocking with an open slot, and Jarno Errens answered. Fighting out of The Netherlands, Errens is 5-1-1 in his most recent seven appearances. He most recently competed Aug. 6 when he defeated Alisher Abdullaev at BRAVE CF 61.

Record when signed: 8-0
Signing type: Short-notice
Weight class: Lightweight
Age: 26
Debut: Saturday vs. Fares Ziam (12-4 MMA, 2-2 UFC) at UFC Fight Night 209 in Paris
The skinny: Six consecutive wins in Cage Warriors elevated Poland’s Michal Figlak to the UFC. With a 50 percent finishing rate, Figlak brings a well-rounded arsenal into his promotional debut. He’ll enter enemy territory against France’s Fares Ziam.
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – AUGUST 23: Darrius Flowers reacts after his TKO victory over Amiran Gogoladze of Georgia in a welterweight fight during Dana White’s Contender Series season six, week five at UFC APEX on August 23, 2022 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC)
Record when signed: 12-5-1
Signing type: DWCS
Weight class: Welterweight
Age: 28
Debut: TBA
The skinny: Darrius Flowers entered the UFC with a bang – literally. In his DWCS appearance, Flowers tossed Georgia’s Amiran Gogoladze to the canvas and won the fight via TKO due to injury. While Gogoladze later said he injured his shoulder prior to the stoppage, the optics will remain highlight-esque. A high-energy individual, Flowers will likely prove to be a do-or-die fighter in the UFC.
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – AUGUST 02: Billy Goff reacts after his TKO victory over Shimon Smotritsky of Israel in a welterweight fight during Dana White’s Contender Series season six, week two at UFC APEX on August 02, 2022 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC)
Record when signed: 8-2
Signing type: DWCS
Weight class: Welterweight
Age: 24
Debut: TBA
The skinny: It wasn’t easy, but CES MMA double champion Billy Goff rallied. After he earned the leading New England regional promotion’s welterweight and middleweight titles, Goff survived an onslaught from Shimon Smotrisky on DWCS and charged back to win by TKO. Goff wasn’t thrilled with the performance, but a win is a win – and a UFC contract is a UFC contract.
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – AUGUST 23: Denise Gomes of Brazil prepares to fight Rayanne Amanda of Brazil in a strawweight fight during Dana White’s Contender Series season six, week five at UFC APEX on August 23, 2022 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC)
Record when signed: 6-1
Signing type: DWCS
Weight class: Women’s strawweight
Age: 22
Debut: TBA
The skinny: With tape lacking among Brazilian regional fighters, it’s tough to predict what kind of product will step into the DWCS cage. Denise Gomes lived up to, if not exceeded, expectations in the eyes of Dana White. With a gritty dancer partner in Rayanne Amanda, Gomes won a back-and-forth brawl via unanimous decision to join her girlfriend Karol Rosa on the UFC roster.

Record when signed: 10-2
Signing type: Short-notice
Weight class: Featherweight
Age: 25
Debut: Saturday vs. Jarno Errens (13-3-1) at UFC Fight Night 209 in Paris
The skinny: With Manon Fiorot, Zarah Fairn, and Taylor Lapilus off the card, the UFC turned to William Gomis to replace a little home-country flavor on its first ever card in France. However, Gomis isn’t in the big leagues solely off of his native country. He’s one of the better up-and-comers in all of Europe and will attempt to show that against fellow debutant Jarno Errens.

Record when signed: 10-3
Signing type: Straight-up
Weight class: Weterweight
Age: 25
Debut: TBA
The skinny: The second Zimbabwe-born fighter in UFC history, Themba Gorimbo has had quite the life journey outside of the cage. From a teen doing the dirty work for diamond smugglers to a professional athlete isn’t the usual path – but he made it work. A winner of four of his most recent five including a EFC title bout, Gorimbo is one of the UFC’s rare “no strings attached” singings of 2022.
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – AUGUST 16: Jose Johnson prepares to fight Jack Cartwright of England in a bantamweight fight during Dana White’s Contender Series season six, week four at UFC APEX on August 16, 2022 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC)
Record when signed: 15-7
Signing type: DWCS
Weight class: Bantamweight
Age: 27
Debut: TBA
The skinny: If you don’t succeed, try, try again. That’s what Jose Johnson did and it paid off. For years, Johnson was a top name who competed all over the country in big regional title fights. Each time he fought in front of Dana White, however, things went poorly – both on DWCS and “Dana White: Lookin’ for a Fight.” In his second DWCS attempt, Johnson finally attained his UFC contract when he became the first man to defeat Cage Warriors champion Jack Cartwright – and then delivered an emotional post-fight speech that won White over.
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – AUGUST 30: Yusaku Kinoshita of Japan reacts after his knockout victory over Jose Henrique of Brazil in a welterweight fight during Dana White’s Contender Series season six, week six at UFC APEX on August 30, 2022 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC)
Record when signed: 6-1
Signing type: DWCS
Weight class: Welterweight
Age: 22
Debut: TBA
The skinny: Yusaku Kinoshita hopes to make history in the UFC – something he already did on DWCS. Against a massive 6’5″ welterweight opponent Jose Henrique, Kinoshita won by a knockout and became the first Japanese fighter to earn a UFC deal on the series.
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – AUGUST 02: (L-R) Francis Marshall punches Connor Matthews in a featherweight fight during Dana White’s Contender Series season six, week two at UFC APEX on August 02, 2022 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC)
Record when signed: 6-0
Signing type: DWCS
Weight class: Featherweight
Age: 23
Debut: Dec. 3 vs. Marcelo Rojo (16-8 MMA, 0-2 UFC) at UFC Fight Night in Orlando
The skinny: Judging by hype displayed by UFC president Dana White during his contract offer announcements, Francis Marshall is perhaps one of the fighters he’s most excited about from this season of DWCS. Marshall dominated Massachusetts native Connor Matthews and received a quick UFC turnaround against Brandon Moreno training partner Marcelo Rojo.

Record when signed: 16-5
Signing type: Short-notice
Weight class: Lightweight
Age: 32
Debut: Saturday vs. Benoit Saint-Denis (9-1 MMA, 1-1 UFC) at UFC Fight Night 209 in Paris
The skinny: It took him 21 fights, but Gabriel Miranda never gave up on his dream until he saw it through. Three weeks prior to UFC Fight Night 209 in Paris, Miranda finally got the call as a replacement for the injured Christos Giagos. He enters the UFC with experience competing all over the world, most notably for BRAVE CF.

Record when signed: 6-0
Signing type: DWCS
Weight class: Heavyweight
Age: 26
Debut: TBA
The skinny: England’s Michael Parkin is a training partner of Paul Craig. As expected, Parkin has a slick big man ground game – as he showed with his rally submission of Eduardo Neves on DWCS. The win earned him a UFC deal and maintained his 100 percent finishing rate.
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – AUGUST 09: (L-R) Jamal Pogues punches Paulo Renato Junior of Brazil in a heavyweight fight during Dana White’s Contender Series season six, week three at UFC APEX on August 09, 2022 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC)
Record when signed: 9-3
Signing type: DWCS
Weight class: Light heavyweight
Age: 26
Debut: Dec. 17 vs. Tafon Nchukwi (6-3 MMA, 1-3 UFC) at UFC Fight Night in location TBA
The skinny: The second time was the charm for Jamal Pogues on Dana White’s Contender Series. Three years after his first appearance, Pogues returned up a weight class at heavyweight and picked apart Paulo Renato Jr. en route to earning a UFC deal. He will debut in the promotion back at light heavyweight, where he’s competed much of his career.
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – AUGUST 30: Mateusz Rebecki of Poland reacts after his submission victory over Rodrigo Lidio of Brazil in a lightweight fight during Dana White’s Contender Series season six, week six at UFC APEX on August 30, 2022 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC)
Record when signed: 16-1
Signing type: DWCS
Weight class: Lightweight
Age: 29
Debut: TBA
The skinny: It’s probably a good thing when Dana White designates you the top fighter from DWCS through the first six episodes. That’s a feather in the cap of Mateusz Rebecki, or as White affectionately nicknamed him Tuesday, “Re-beasty.” As one of the most experienced competitors on the series, Rebecki played the bit with an unusual, hookless rear-naked choke submission of Rodrigo Lidio. The first-round submission victory extended his winning streak to 13.
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – AUGUST 16: (R-L) Claudio Ribeiro of Brazil knocks out Ivan Valenzuela of Mexico in a middleweight fight during Dana White’s Contender Series season six, week four at UFC APEX on August 16, 2022 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC)
Record when signed: 10-2
Signing type: DWCS
Weight class: Middleweight
Age: 30
Debut: TBA
The skinny: Claudio Ribeiro entered DWCS on a five-fight knockout streak and extended it to six against Ivan Valenzuela. The fight lasted only 25 seconds, but Ribeiro picked up a highlight when a spinning Valenzuela walked right into a massive punch. Ribeiro will likely be an exciting addition to the middleweight division as all but one of his 12 pro fights have ended inside the distance.
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – AUGUST 16: Esteban Ribovics of Argentina reacts after his knockout over Thomas Paull of England in a lightweight fight during Dana White’s Contender Series season six, week four at UFC APEX on August 16, 2022 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC)
Record when signed: 11-0
Signing type: DWCS
Weight class: Lightweight
Age: 26
Debut: TBA
The skinny: Another Argentinian knockout artist is part of the UFC roster. At DWCS, Esteban Ribovics made the most of his opportunity when he put away opponent Thomas Paull with strikes in 90 seconds. In 11 fights, Ribovics has 11 finishes including six knockouts and five submissions.

Record when signed: 13-6
Signing type: Straight-up
Weight class: Flyweight
Age: 33
Debut: TBA
The skinny: Things got so bad for Shannon Ross the universe (and the UFC) rewarded him. On the losing end of an all-time brawl against Vinicius Salvador on DWCS, Ross was not rewarded with a UFC contract initially. In the hours after the fight, Dana White was asked why he did not award Ross a contract. The UFC president indicated one would come his way if a short-notice opportunity arose. However, Ross was rushed to the hospital for emergency surgery the next day. When White caught news of this, he signed Ross to the UFC anyway.
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – AUGUST 23: Cameron Saaiman of South Africa prepares to fight Joshua Wang-Kim in a bantamweight fight during Dana White’s Contender Series season six, week five at UFC APEX on August 23, 2022 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC)
Record when signed: 6-0
Signing type: DWCS
Weight class: Bantamweight
Age: 21
Debut: TBA
The skinny: There’s a new youngest fighter on the UFC roster and his name is Cameron Saaiman. Fighting out of South Africa, Saaiman showed poise and focus beyond his years in his DWCS before he secured a highlight reel knockout of Josh Wang-Kim. The finish was his fifth in six pro fights and secured him a UFC deal.
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – AUGUST 16: Nazim Sadykhov of Russia reacts after knocking out Ahmad Hassanzada of Afghanistan in a lightweight fight during Dana White’s Contender Series season six, week four at UFC APEX on August 16, 2022 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC)
Record when signed: 7-1
Signing type: DWCS
Weight class: Lightweight
Age: 28
Debut: TBA
The skinny: A member of Longo Weidman MMA, Nazim Sadykhov continued the legacy of a storied gym when he flattened opponent Ahmad Hassanzada on the fourth week of DWCS, Season 6. Prior to his UFC contract-earning performance, Sadykhov competed for notable regional promotions Fury FC, CFFC, and Ring of Combat. What have all of his fights had in common? None of them saw judges scorecards.
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – AUGUST 02: Vinicius Salvador of Brazil reacts after his knockout victory over Shannon Ross of Australia in a flyweight fight during Dana White’s Contender Series season six, week two at UFC APEX on August 02, 2022 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC)
Record when signed: 14-4
Signing type: DWCS
Weight class: Flyweight
Age: 26
Debut: TBA (was scheduled for Oct. 29 vs. Kleydson Rodrigues at UFC Fight Night in Las Vegas, but withdrew)
The skinny: The victor of quite possibly the best DWCS fight of all time, Vinicius Salvador showed a lot of things that should have UFC fans excited ahead of his debut. He was flashy; he was unorthodox; and, man, does he hit hard. If he didn’t face such a durable opponent in Shannon Ross, it’s possible Salvador would’ve picked up another first-round stoppage – something he has many of.
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – AUGUST 09: Erik Silva of Venezuela prepares to fight Anvar Boynazarov of Uzbekistan in a featherweight fight during Dana White’s Contender Series season six, week three at UFC APEX on August 09, 2022 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC)
Record when signed: 9-1
Signing type: DWCS
Weight class: Featherweight
Age: 35
Debut: TBA
The skinny: Erik Silva’s performance on DWCS was exactly what Dana White wanted, according to the UFC president post-fight. The fight was lopsided in the favor of Silva, who brutally bloodied and finished Anvar Bonyazarov in 92 seconds. The win extended his streak to eight, which also included a Lux Fight League featherweight title victory in Mexico.

Record when signed: 6-1
Signing type: Straight-up
Weight class: Women’s bantamweight
Age: 24
Debut: Nov. 5 vs. Ramona Pascual (6-4 MMA, 0-2 UFC) at UFC Fight Night in location TBA
The skinny: A relative unknown to most fans prior to her UFC signing, Tamires Vidal enters the promotion with a history of fighting notable names. Current UFC fighters Karol Rosa (loss) and Ailin Perez (win), as well as PFL fighter Martina Jindrova (win) are all opponents she faced in Brazil during her come-up.
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