The Ultimate Fighter: Brazil season 3 winner Antonio Carlos Junior was fired by the promotion after losing his third fight in a row in January, ddropping a decision to Brad Tavares in Abu Dhabi, but chooses to see it as a blessing in disguise.
“Cara de Sapato” became TUF’s heavyweight winner in 2014 and at one point in his career had a five-fight winning streak at middleweight that included four choke finishes and a decision win over Marvin Vettori. However, three consecutive losses to Ian Heinisch, Uriah Hall and Tavares cost him his job.
“One door closes and other doors open. This is how it is. We never know what can happen. He knew getting fired by the UFC was a possibility, but he didn’t think too much about it. He was waiting for an answer and his answer came.
“You get angry at first, you had that personal goal that you wanted to achieve. I went there for the gold, but it’s not just up to us. I wanted to conquer that [título], I wanted to leave as a champion, but then I began to see that there are many opportunities outside, so somehow I felt a little freer from negotiations and endorsements«.
“My manager and I are discussing some ideas… In fact, I even feel a little freer, a little more relieved actually. This change will be good for me in some way, both professionally and financially. I think it will be positive. The UFC was great for me for a while, but I think it was time for a change and we’ll see what comes next. “
The relief, Junior said, comes after feeling that the company was not entirely happy with their services.
“In business, we have to be happy with what we have, and I felt for some time that they weren’t satisfied. I think the UFC wants a type of fighter other than who I am. I’m not the type of guy who talks too much, so I felt like they weren’t happy, and that makes me unhappy too. Other places may have what suits me best.
Junior, who still had one fight left on his UFC contract, He said that he is currently in negotiations with other promotions and will decide the best path for his career.
The jiu-jitsu specialist will take time off after sustaining a trio of injuries to his left leg during his 15-minute fight with Tavares, a fibula fracture, as well as meniscus and posterior cruciate ligament injuries. “Cara de Sapato” injured the same knee in 2020 and underwent surgery to repair a torn anterior cruciate ligament, but this time he will not have to undergo surgery.
Junior has dealt with many health problems in the last three years, sidelined after injuring his chest, toe and knee on separate occasions, but is confident he will recover later this year.
In fact, the Brazilian middleweight believes his clash with Tavares could have gone either way, at odds with both judges scoring it 30-27 in favor of his opponent, and still defends that he deserved the win over Uriah Hall in 2019.
There are just a few days left so you can support the fighter and collaborator of SUPER LUCHAS, Heavy Boy, with any amount. who is raising funds for a delicate surgery.