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 battered the legs of De Castro (9-3). Nonetheless, 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.”
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 a f****** fighter. If you guys disrespect me, I’m going to keep coming, and I can fight anyone.”
Eagle FC 47 main event ends after Junior dos Santos dislocates his shoulder pic.twitter.com/DMRhp1j84D— Eagle FC (@EagleFightClub) May 21, 2022
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.”
Hector Lombard knocks downs Thiago Silva in the opening seconds of the fight— Eagle FC (@EagleFightClub) May 21, 2022
Score this fight: https://t.co/2pduUAJ34x#EagleFC47: Dos Santos vs. De Castro | LIVE AND FREE NOW only on FLXcast worldwide and Combate in | Sign up NOW at https://t.co/QslxaipV9R pic.twitter.com/ba8kMKIF3E
Thiago Silva vs Hector Lombard ends in a No Contest following an accidental foul— Eagle FC (@EagleFightClub) May 21, 2022
Might be the first Eagle FC rematch? #EagleFC47: Dos Santos vs. De Castro | LIVE AND FREE NOW only on FLXcast worldwide and Combate in | Sign up NOW at https://t.co/QslxaipV9R pic.twitter.com/QPqWHNx37o
- 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