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Junior dos Santos, Fabricio Werdum to Meet in Bareknuckle MMA Fight on Sept. 2



Former UFC heavyweight champions Junior dos Santos and Fabricio Werdum will square off in a bareknuckle MMA bout under Jorge Masvidal’s Gamebred Promotions banner.

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Conan Silveira, dos Santos’ coach at American Top Team, recently confirmed the news to Sherdog. Dos Santos and Werdum have already signed the contract to face one another. The pairing will come some 15 years after their first meeting, which “Cigano” won via first-round technical knockout at UFC 90 on Oct. 25, 2008.

“‘Cigano' started his camp to face Werdum today,” Silveira said. “I’m not sure if it was already officially announced but it will be at a Masvidal event under Vale Tudo rules, but with no gloves.”

News of the bout was subsequently confirmed by other sources close to the situation.

Dos Santos, who is known for his boxing-based skill set, hasn’t competed since suffering a shoulder injury that caused him to loss to Yorgan De Castro at Eagle FC in May 2022. The former UFC heavyweight champion has since returned to training after undergoing two surgeries. Cigano’s knockout of Werdum came in his UFC debut and was part of a nine-bout Octagon winning streak that included a championship victory over Cain Velasquez and a successful defense against Frank Mir.

A renowned grappler with striking based in muay Thai, the 45-year-old Werdum is coming off a PFL fight with Renan Ferreira in May 2021 that was ultimately ruled a no contest. “Vai Cavalo” capturing undisputed championship gold with a third-round submission of Cain Velasquez at UFC 188.

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