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 grisly shoulder injury after punching Yorgan De Castro early in the third round.
The setback marked the fifth consecutive loss for dos Santos (21-10), who was likely winning the bout up to that point with a steady stream of powerful kicks that had beaten the legacy of De Castro (9-3). Nevertheless, De Castro moved to 2-0 under the Eagle FC banner with his victory, 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] 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 whether that will still be the case after a luckless end for dos Santos in a bout that was, by far, his most competitive result since his 2019 win over Derrick Lewis.
Dos Santos repeatedly tried to pop his shoulder back into place in the immediate aftermath of the injury, in a desperate attempt to keep the bout going, however it was too late.
The contest was officially halted at 0:35 of the third round.
“His shoulder popped, I felt it pop,” De Castro said of the finishing sequence, which can be watched below. “I could’ve taken advantage of it and charged forward, but I’m a man, I wanted the guy to go back to his family. I have a family, but I’m af****** fighter. If you guys disrespect me, I’m going to keep coming, and I can fight anyone.”
In the night’s co-main event, fellow UFC veterans and former teammates Hector Lombard (34-10-1, 3 NC) and Thiago Silva (21-9, 3 NC) also fought to a bizarre end, with their bout being ruled a no contest after an illegal knee to the head of a downed opponent rendered Lombard unable to continue midway at the 1:44 mark of the second round.
Lombard started off strong in his first MMA bout since 2018, dropping Silva early in the opening frame with a left hand bomb. However, the 39-year-old Silva survived his 44-year-old foe’s ground-and-pound assault and returned the favor in the second round, knocking Lombard down with a short right cross before charging in and cracking Lombard with the illegal knee , which ultimately brought the contest to a premature end.
In his post-fight interview, Silva cast doubt on whether Lombard was truly as hurt as he seemed, though ultimately both men agreed to a rematch at a future date.
“He’s been in worse situations before,” Silva said. “He could’ve kept going. It is what it is.”
Complete Eagle FC 47 results can be seen below.
- Yorgan De Castro def. 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 def. Doug Usher via TKO (punches) at 0:30 of Round 1 | watch finish
Andrew Sanchez def. Gabriel Checco via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Akhmed Aliev def. Darrell Horcher via KO (punch) at 0:30 of Round 1 | watch finish
Islam Mamedov def. Zach Zane via submission (rear-naked choke) at 1:50 of Round 1
Ronny Markes def. Reggie Pena via verbal submission (knee injury) at 1:21 of Round 2
Roosevelt Roberts def. Alexandre Almeida via unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28)
- Paulo Silva def. Sean Soriano via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
- Adi Alic def. Shawn Bunch via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
- Dylan Mantello def. Dennis Hughes via TKO (doctor’s stoppage) at 5:00 of Round 2