Makhmud Muradov Steps in Against Antonio Carlos Jr. at UFC Brasilia

By Jay Pettry Jan 3, 2020

Antonio Carlos Jr. already has a new opponent in his middleweight contest at the Ultimate Fighting Championship's return to Brasilia, Brazil.

On Friday, the organization announced that Makhmud Muradov (24-6) will stepping in to take on Carlos Jr. (10-4, 1 NC) at middleweight at UFC Brasilia. Carlos Jr. was originally scheduled to face Brad Tavares at the event, but Tavares was forced to withdraw on Monday due to an injury. The event will take place on March 14 at the Nilson Nelson Gymnasium in Brasilia.

Muradov has not lost since suffering a shoulder injury in a 2016 bout, for a stretch of 13 victories including two inside the Octagon. The Floyd Mayweather-managed MMA fighter made his successful promotional debut by beating Alessio Di Chirico in September by decision. Less than three months later, Muradov returned to knock out Trevor Smith at UFC on ESPN 7 in December, pocketing $50,000 in a "Performance of the Night" bonus with a picturesque knockout that sent Smith's mouthpiece soaring across the cage.

He will be taking on Carlos Jr., who is looking to snap a two-fight skid, the longest in the Brazilian's career. Since losing a decision to Ian Heinisch in May, Carlos Jr. then dropped a narrow split verdict to Uriah Hall in September. Eight of ten career wins for "Cara de Sapato" have come by tapout, including three rear-naked chokes in his last three victories. Five of Carlos Jr.'s seven wins inside the UFC have come via rear-naked choke.

UFC Fight Night Brasilia will be held on March 14 at the Nilson Nelson Gymnasium in Brasilia, Brazil. No matchup has been set to headline it, although a significant light heavyweight battle between Johnny Walker and Nikita Krylov is scheduled for that evening. Also, in a significant flyweight collision, Jussier Formiga will meet Brandon Moreno on the card.

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