- Khabib Nurmagomedov is confident Junior Dos Santos can still fight Fedor Emelianenko following an ugly shoulder injury at Eagle FC 47
- “The Eagle” has confirmed he will talk to Bellator CEO Scott Coker about the fight
Junior Dos Santos’ Eagle FC debut came to a disappointing end after the former UFC heavyweight champion’s shoulder popped out in the third round of his main event bout against Yorgan De Castro. Nevertheless, Eagle FC boss Khabib Nurmagomedov reckoned Dos Santos can still bounce back and even take part in the promotion’s bigger events in the near future.
Eagle FC 47 main event ends after Junior dos Santos dislocates his shoulder pic.twitter.com/DMRhp1j84D
— Eagle FC (@EagleFightClub) May 21, 2022
The fight is on
According to Nurmagomedov, Dos Santos’ grueling shoulder injury may look severe, but that doesn’t mean he won’t be able to recover. The former UFC lightweight champion thinks the Brazilian can make his return “after three or months,” just in time for a heavyweight showdown with Fedor Emelianenko, a bout he and Bellator CEO Scott Coker has previously flirted with.
“I think it’s still viable,” Nurmagomedov told MMA Underground after Eagle FC 47, “Because even if he lost, Junior looked amazing. Everybody see tonight, he’s improved a lot and he was looking amazing. And I think it’s still interesting. I think for his shoulder, [as an] athlete — because I know when you have an injury, what you need, how many months you need to recover, everything — I think if he makes this next week, surgery, I think definitely he needs surgery.”
“I’m not a doctor, but I see a lot of injuries inside the gym like this with shoulders, with knees,” he continued. “I think after three or four months, he can come back to sparring, and at the end of the year we can make this fight. Next week I’m going to sit with Scott Coker and we’re going to discuss about this fight.”
Cigano at his best?
To further back his assessment, Nurmagomedov said that the Dos Santos who made his maiden appearance at Eagle FC was the best JDS he has seen in the last five or six years.
“Junior was looking amazing,” the Russian MMA legend said. “[For a] long time, I didn’t see [him look like] how he looked like tonight. He was looking very good. I think it was maybe his best shape in the last couple years, maybe five, six years. But it is what it is, you know? This is a very tough sport. You can’t even blink in this sport when you’re inside the cage, because I know how it is being inside the cage, standing with someone [who’s] a professional athlete in front of you. It’s very dangerous and you have to stay focused every single second.”
In all fairness, Nurmagomedov has a point as Dos Santos was looking good during the fight. And while it highly likely that “Cigano” say yes to a fight against Emelianenko, it will all boil down to what the doctors will say about his shoulder.