Antonio Carlos Junior

Cara de Sapato


Wins $1 million at light heavyweight
Light HeavyweightPFL
October 27, 2021
Carlos Junior defeated Marthin Hamlet via submission (rear-naked choke) at 3:49 of Round 1 at the PFL Championships on Wednesday night in Fort Lauderdale.
Carlos Junior wasn't super active out of the gates, but once he got going, he didn't let up. He had a straight right hand that connected clean and opened the door to set up takedown that he used to take the back and set up a body triangle. Hamlet got to his feet, but was wearing him like a backpack until Carlos Junior pulled the Norwegian down to the mat. The choke was in tight at that point, giving Hamlet no choice but to tap. Carlos Junior ended his UFC run on a three-fight losing streak that also involved a major knee injury, but he bounced back in a huge way after switching promotions. His 2021 season included wins over Tom Lawlor, Emiliano Sordi and now Hamlet (plus a no-contest against Vinny Magalhaes), all culminating in a $1 million prize as the 205-pound champion. At 31 years old, he looks like he's right where he wants to be.
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Dropped by UFC
Light HeavyweightPFL
February 4, 2021
Carlos Junior was released by the UFC on Thursday, reports.
The 30-year-old closes his UFC career with a respectable 7-5 record, though he hasn't had much recent success. He's lost each of his last three matches, most recently falling by unanimous decision against Brad Tavares.
Losing streak continues
Light HeavyweightPFL
January 23, 2021
Carlos Junior lost to Brad Tavares via unanimous decision (27-30, 27-30, 28-29) at UFC 257 on Saturday in Abu Dhabi.
It was the most recent in a long string of subpar performances for Carlos Junior. Unable to generate any sustained damage on the feet and with his takedowns failing to land, Carlos Junior's offense consisted of attempting to pin Tavares up against the cage. It led to 6:28 of control time over the course of the 15-minute bout, but the judge's smartly put little stock in the Brazilian's "offensive" output. Simply put, Carlos Junior won't be winning if his takedowns aren't landing. He connected on 1-of-12 attempts on Saturday. With the UFC in cost cutting mode and Carlos Junior without a victory in nearly three years, the soon-to-be 31-year-old's job security is suddenly in question.
Rebooked against Tavares
Light HeavyweightPFL
October 31, 2020
Carlos Junior (knee) will take on Brad Tavares (knee) in a middleweight bout at UFC 257 on Jan. 23, Raphael Marinho of reports.
Carlos Junior and Tavares are each coming off similar situations, as knee injuries kept each fighter sidelined for all of 2020. The two fighters were originally booked for a March fight, but Tavares was forced to withdraw due to a knee injury before Carlos Junior underwent surgery on a torn ACL in January. Carlos Junior's most recent fight ended in a loss to Uriah Hall via split decision at UFC Vancouver in September of 2019, his second consecutive loss. Tavares is also riding a two-fight losing streak, most recently losing to Edmen Shahbazyan via KO (high kick) at UFC 244 in November of 2019. Carlos Junior carries advantages in both height and reach.
Rehabbing torn ACL
Light HeavyweightPFL
April 1, 2020
Carlos Junior underwent surgery to repair a torn ACL approximately four weeks ago and is currently hopeful for a late-2020 matchup against Brad Tavares, Farah Hannoun of reports.
Carlos Junior continues to work through physical therapy with most of the world in quarantine due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and expects to be ready again within the standard six-month recovery timetable. The injury was suffered in a sparring session, but Carlos Junior expects to resume training in approximately one month. Prior to the injury, Carlos Junior was scheduled to face Brad Tavares at UFC Brasilia on March 14, but Tavares withdrew due to injury and was replaced by Makhmud Muradov. Carlos Junior later had to withdraw himself, but remains hopeful the UFC will hit the reset button and simply return to the Tavares matchup once the company is able to resume a normal schedule.
Set for knee surgery
Light HeavyweightPFL
January 14, 2020
Carlos Junior will undergo surgery on a torn ACL in his left knee, Guillherme Cruz of reports.
The surgery explains why Carlos Junior withdrew from his scheduled fight against Makhmud Muradov at UFC Brasilia on March 14. The procedure will presumably keep Carlos Junior out for quite a while, though his target return date has yet to be announced.