Midnight Mania Highlights! JDS Slices Up Werdum In Bloody Victory

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Earlier on Friday night (Sept. 8, 2023), former Heavyweight champions Junior dos Santos and Fabricio Werdum squared off in a bare knuckle MMA showdown from inside VySar Veterans Memorial Arena in Jacksonville, Florida. It’s been 15 years since “JDS” announced himself as a top Heavyweight prospect by shocking Werdum with a brutal uppercut way back in 2008, and “Vai Cavalo” wanted revenge.

It was pretty clear from the first bell that Werdum didn’t want to box with dos Santos. He kept his distance, firing a lot of kicks and landing some decent ones low. His takedowns early were stuffed, however. “JDS” was patient in response, slowly advancing behind the jab, calf kick, and occasional combos. Things really heated up in the final minute, with Werdum landing a brief takedown and dos Santos immediately answering with a knockdown.

The second round was much closer. Dos Santos was largely content to hang back, jabbing and kicking. Werdum attacked in big moments, whiffing spinning kicks and scoring occasional right hands. Werdum probably had the best lands of the round, but the blood on his face and flopping to his back in the closing seconds of the second were not great visually.

“JDS” turned it back up in the third. He continued to work behind his jab, but the damage really built up, especially when a couple right hands connected. By the final minute of the fight, Werdum’s eye was swollen shut, and his eyelid torn wide open. It was positively disgusting, but Werdum made it to the final bell.

Check out the highlights below:

Dos Santos was rightfully awarded the split-decision win, denying Werdum his opportunity at revenge even as one psychotic judge tried to screw it all up. He looked a bit gun shy, but the Brazilian did throw fast strikes for three rounds without fatiguing. Likely, he’ll be fighting for a belt next if he sticks around the Gamebred organization.


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