Duraev defeated Calo Bittencourt via submission (neck crank) at 3:29 of Round 1 at Dana White's Tuesday Night Contender Series. After the show, he was one of five fighters to be awarded an official UFC contract.
Duraev was the first no-brainer contract of the evening for UFC President Dana White, as he controlled almost the entirety of the fight en route to the finish. He's already faced several UFC-caliber fighters, and the wrestling specialist will carry a nine-fight winning streak into his company debut. The 32-year-old boasts a similar, suffocating style to that of fellow Russian prospect Khamzat Chimaev
, and will look to quickly ascend to the top of the 185-pound rankings, already calling out each of the top three fighters in the division.