PFL 4: Antonio Carlos Junior Locks Up Playoff Spot with Decision Over Bruce Souto

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Antonio Carlos Junior, PFL 4Antonio Carlos Junior, PFL 4 astatine the Overtime Elite Arena successful Atlanta, Georgia, Friday, June 17, 2022. (Cooper Neill / PFL)

The PFL’s 2021 airy heavyweight champion Antonio Carlos Junior was successful enactment Friday astatine PFL 4, looking to unafraid a spot successful his 2nd consecutive post-season.

“Shoeface” was paired up with Bruce Souto, a combat successful which Carlos Junior was the dense favorite.

Souto enactment up a bully fight, but ultimately, the match-up turned retired arsenic expected.

Right disconnected the opening bell, Souto fto his intentions beryllium known, firing aggregate limb kicks astatine the champ. Carlos Junior would yet instrumentality the combat to the ground, though helium could not support Souto there. Instead, they’d get backmost to the feet, with Carlos Junior successful the driver’s seat, pressing his hostile into the obstruction portion looking for a takedown.

A precise funny onlooker for the fight, Delan Monte, was thrilled to spot it spell past 2 minutes, arsenic that allowed him to unafraid a spot successful the PFL 2022 post-season. It besides eliminated Souto from contention, triumph oregon lose.

In the meantime, Souto was inactive carrying the value of Carlos Junior, who yet isolated a limb and fundamentally swung his hostile to the mat. Souto was close backmost up erstwhile again, and yet recovered immoderate separation, with the brace moving backmost to center.

In the second, Souto again started things disconnected by chewing up the limb retired Antonio Carlos Junior. With the playoffs retired of reach, Souto was warring for pridefulness much than thing else. He flashed immoderate stance switches, and continued to enactment implicit the champ’s pb leg. But helium was ne'er adjacent to finishing ACJ, nor was helium capable to bash capable to get up connected the scorecards. Carlos Junior would resistance his hostile to the crushed successful the last 2 minutes, taking the backmost — though helium couldn’t find the finish.

[email protected] chasing the finish!#2022PFL4 LIVE connected ESPN & ESPN+

— PFL (@PFLMMA) June 18, 2022

The 3rd circular saw much of the same, successful a combat that was comparatively close. They’d spell to the last bell, with Carlos Junior claiming a unanimous determination win.

Antonio Carlos Junior volition spell connected to look chap UFC ex-pat and ATT teammate Omari Akhmedov successful the semifinal round. From there, he’ll person the accidental to determination connected to the cardinal dollar final, with the anticipation of repeating arsenic champion.

Official Result: Antonio Carlos Junior def. Bruce Souto by unanimous determination (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)