Former UFC heavyweight world champion Junior dos Santos looks to be in the best shape of his life ahead of his highly anticipated bare-knuckle MMA debut.
On September 8, ‘Cigano’ is scheduled to compete under the Gamebred Bareknuckle MMA banner against another former UFC titleholder, Fabricio Werdum. It will be the first time in his 17-year-long career that JDS will leave his four-ounce gloves at home and go bare-fisted inside the cage.
Ahead of his return, Junior dos Santos looks to be in impeccable shape, as noted by MMA journalist Drake Riggs who shared a series of images featuring JDS looking absolutely jacked ahead of his return to competition.
“Junior dos Santos looks like he found the fountain of youth ahead of his Gamebred Bareknuckle debut rematch against Fabricio Werdum on Sept. 8,” Riggs wrote on X, formerly Twitter.
Junior dos Santos looks like he found the fountain of youth ahead of his Gamebred Bareknuckle debut rematch against Fabricio Werdum on Sept. 8
(: Danny Perez) pic.twitter.com/KosnDpovKx
— Drake Riggs (@DrakeRiggs_) August 18, 2023
Junior dos Santos Looks to Snap Five-Fight Losing Skid
His bare-knuckle scrap with Werdum will be the first time Junior dos Santos has stepped inside the cage since suffering a shoulder injury during the third round of his clash with Yorgan de Castro at Eagle FC 47 last year. The bout was his fifth-straight loss dating back to 2019 when a four-fight losing streak under the UFC banner resulted in his release from the promotion. To be fair, those four losses came against some absolute killers, including Francis Ngannou, Curtis Blaydes, Jairzinho Rozenstruik, and Ciryl Gane.
JDS’ opponent, Fabricio Werdum, returns to the cage following a very brief stint with the Professional Fighters League. Signing on to compete in the 2021 regular season, Werdum initially lost his first bout inside the Smart Cage against Renan Ferreira via TKO, but the ruling was later overturned after instant replay clearly revealed that Ferreira tapped out to a triangle choke before turning the tables and pummeling Werdum with a serious of ground-and-pound strikes.
Werdum was expected to return a month later, but he was unable to get medical clearance. He has since parted ways with the PFL and will now make his bare-knuckle MMA debut against Junior dos Santos next month.