Junior dos Santos just can’t catch a break.
The former UFC heavyweight champion lost in his Eagle FC 47 debut on Friday night when he suffered a horrific shoulder injury after hitting Yorgan De Castro early in the third round.
The setback marked the fifth straight loss for dos Santos (21-10), who was likely winning the fight so far with a steady stream of powerful kicks that beat De Castro’s legs (9-3). Nevertheless, De Castro moved to 2-0 under the Eagle FC banner with his win, and he used the opportunity to ask Eagle FC president Khabib Nurmagomedov for a chance to fight Fedor Emelianenko in a co-promoted bout with Bellator.
“With all due respect, let me fight Fedor,” De Castro said. “If Fedor is on the line, I want to fight Fedor Emelianenko. … I will sign the dotted line [line] tomorrow.”
Nurmagomedov and Bellator president Scott Coker had teased earlier in the week that a co-promoted matchup between dos Santos and Emelianenko could be a possibility.
It remains to be seen if that will still be the case after an unfortunate end for dos Santos in a fight that was, by far, his most competitive result since his 2019 victory over Derrick Lewis.
Dos Santos repeatedly tried to get his shoulder back in place immediately after the injury, in a desperate attempt to keep the fight going, but it was too late.
The contest was officially stopped at 0:35 of the third round.
“His shoulder popped, I felt it pop,” De Castro said of the finishing sequence, which can be viewed below. “I could have taken advantage of it and gone for it, but I’m a man, I wanted the guy to go back to his family. I have a family, but I’m a f****** fighter. If you miss me from respect, I will keep coming and I can fight anyone.
In the co-main event of the night, fellow UFC veterans and former teammates Hector Lombard (34-10-1, 3 NC) and Thiago Silva (21-9, 3 NC) also fought until to a bizarre end, with their fight being ruled a no contest after an illegal knee to the head of a downed opponent rendered Lombard unable to continue halfway through at 1:44 of the second round.
Lombard started strong in his first MMA fight since 2018, dropping Silva early in the first frame with a left-handed bomb. However, the 39-year-old Silva survived his 44-year-old opponent’s ground assault and returned the favor in the second round, knocking down Lombard with a short right cross before charging and cracking Lombard with the illegal knee. , which ultimately ended the contest prematurely.
In his post-fight interview, Silva questioned whether Lombard was really as hurt as he appeared, although ultimately the pair agreed to a rematch at a later date.
“He’s been in worse situations before,” Silva said. “He could have continued. It’s like that.”
Full Eagle FC 47 results are available below.
- Yorgan De Castro defeated. Junior dos Santos via TKO (shoulder injury) at 0:35 of Round 3
- Hector Lombard vs. Thiago Silva ruled a No Contest (accidental foul) at 1:44 of Round 2
Maki Pitolo defeats. Doug Usher via TKO (punches) at 0:30 of Round 1 | Watch finish
Andrew Sanchez beats. Gabriel Checco via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Akhmed Aliyev defeated. Darrell Horcher via KO (punch) at 0:30 of Round 1 | Watch finish
Islam Mamedov defeats. Zach Zane via submission (rear naked choke) at 1:50 of Round 1
Ronny Markes defeats. Reggie Pena by verbal submission (knee injury) at 1:21 of Round 2
Roosevelt Roberts defeats. Alexandre Almeida by unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28)
- Paulo Silva beats. Sean Soriano via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
- Adi Alic beats. Shawn Bunch by unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
- Dylan Mantello beats. Dennis Hughes via TKO (doctor stoppage) at 5:00 a.m. of Round 2