Junior dos Santos, 39, and Fabricio Werdum, 46, will headline the fifth event for Jorge Masvidal’s bare-knuckle MMA promotion.
In October 2008, Werdum and Dos Santos fought at UFC 90, with the latter emerging victorious with a first-round knockout. Nearly Fifteen years later, the heavyweight legends will fight again, but this time without the gloves.
Ariel Helwani recently reported that the former UFC heavyweight champions are officially scheduled to fight at Gamebred Bareknuckle 5, which is scheduled for September 8 at the Vystar Veterans Memorial Arena in Jacksonville, Florida. Helwani had this to say on Twitter:
“Junior dos Santos x Fabricio Werdum 2 is signed for Sept. 8 in Jacksonville, I’m told. The pair first fought at UFC 90, a fight won by JDS via spectacular KO. But there’s a twist: it’s happening under bare knuckle MMA rules for @GamebredFighter’s BK MMA promotion.”
Junior Dos Santos’ 23-fight UFC tenure ended when he suffered a second-round knockout loss in December 2020, extending his losing streak to four. In May 2022, Dos Santos fought Yorgan De Castro at Eagle FC 47, which he was winning before suffering a freak shoulder injury in the third round.
Meanwhile, Fabricio Werdum parted ways with the UFC in 2020 after securing a first-round submission win against Alexander Gustafsson. ‘Vai Cavalo’ signed with the PFL, and things didn’t go as planned when he made his promotional debut in May 2021.
Werdum’s lone PFL fight would end in a no-contest after the referee didn’t see Renan Ferreira tapped, leading to Ferreira recovering and getting a first-round TKO. ‘Vai Cavalo’ is no longer contractually signed to the PFL.
Junior dos Santos x Fabricio Werdum 2 is signed for Sept. 8 in Jacksonville, I’m told. The pair first fought at UFC 90, a fight won by JDS via spectacular KO.
But there’s a twist: it’s happening under bare knuckle MMA rules for @GamebredFighter’s BK MMA promotion.
— Ariel Helwani (@arielhelwani) June 30, 2023
Who is joining Junior Dos Santos and Fabricio Werdum at Gamebred Bareknuckle 5?
The Gamebred Bareknuckle 5 fight card is not official, but several other bouts have been announced. The three other matchups feature several UFC veterans: Renan Barao vs. Sean Soriano, Irwin Rivera vs. Joshua Weems, and Brandon Jenkins vs. Anthony Njokuani.
None of the bouts listed above are confirmed to be the co-main event.
It’ll be intriguing to see if Jorge Masvidal’s bare-knuckle MMA promotion can continue gaining momentum after the success of their last event. Gamebred Bareknuckle 4 took place on May 5 and featured Roy ‘Big Country’ Nelson, 47, shockingly knock out Dillon Cleckler in the main event.