Eagle Fighting Championship is set to return with another fantastic looking card on Friday evening at the FLXcast Arena in Miami, Fla. Eagle FC 47 will be main evented by a heavyweight tilt between former UFC heavyweight champion Junior Dos Santos (21-9) and another UFC veteran in Cape Verde’s Yorgan De Castro (8-3).
Eagle FC 47 Preview
Dos Santos, 38, is set to fight outside the UFC for the first time in nearly 15 years, a sight many fans will just have to see to truly believe. The former world champion compiled a 15-8 record inside the octagon alone and holds wins over some of the greatest to ever compete in the weight class. However, “Cigano” closed his UFC career on an 0-4 skid, and many began to question whether or not he was still a viable contender in the heavyweight division. The fact that those four losses came against top-10 heavyweights does cast doubt on the idea that Dos Santos is “done,” especially since two of those defeats came to the current UFC champion Francis Ngannou as well as his most recent challenger, Ciryl Gane.
Regardless of how much Dos Santos has left in the tank, he will need to work around his striking defense, which failed him in all four defeats. Boxing has been Dos Santos’ calling card throughout his career, though most of his previous success was predicated on his durability and ability to take one to give one. However, consecutive beatings from Cain Velasquez likely sapped most of the Brazilian’s durability, with Velasquez having outstruck him 274-62 in the trilogy fight. From there, Dos Santos carried on as a fixture among the top-10 heavyweights in the world, even picking up a decision victory over Stipe Miocic in the first fight after the Velasquez trilogy. Despite having shown in the past he can deliver a hard, five-round heavyweight pace, Dos Santos hasn’t been to a decision in nearly four years with each of his last six fights ending by way of knockout or technical knockout, regardless of what side of it he has been on.
He’ll now look to give fans a taste of what they can expect to see in the twilight of his career, returning after an 18-month layoff to face De Castro. The one-time prospect was actually let go by the UFC after Dos Santos but has gone on to put together a 2-0 record outside the promotion. His most recent win came in the Eagle FC cage when he submitted Shaun Asher with a guillotine choke back in January, and prior to that went the distance, getting his hand raised against Danyelle Williams at CES 65. “The Mad Titan” is looking to show his 1-3 UFC record is not a reflection of the fighter he is in 2022, hoping to one day receive a call from the UFC again. For now, his attention rests on Dos Santos, and a victory on Friday would be far and away the biggest of the 34-year-old’s young career in the sport. Expect both fighters to stand and trade until one man falls. One would have to favor Dos Santos in a pure boxing match, but De Castro’s leg kicks have proven to be a weapon in the past and could serve as the x-factor if the Cape Verdean is able to implement a game plan.
Speaking of standing and trading, Friday’s co-main event will feature two more UFC veterans in Hector Lombard (34-10) and Thiago Silva (21-9), who will meet for the first time in their careers at light heavyweight. Lombard is a former judo practitioner, though it would be tough for one to come to that conclusion if they’ve seen him in a cage fight. Appropriately nicknamed “Lightning,” Lombard might just have lightning in his hands with 22 of his wins coming by way of knockout. Like Dos Santos, Lombard will be fighting outside the UFC for first time in a significant amount of time, though, unlike Dos Santos, he will be coming off a near-four-year layoff, which is long enough to suggest he could be a completely different version of himself than fans became accustomed to in the UFC. He is also 44-years-old and will be fighting at 205 pounds for the first time in more than 12 years.
Silva, believe it or not, is not only five years younger than Lombard but has the most recent fight of the two, falling to Martin Zawada via unanimous decision at KSW 49 back in 2019. His most recent win came against veteran James McSweeney back in 2018, also in KSW. Still, the Brazilian is just 39 years old, despite having made his UFC debut all the way back in 2007. Given the layoffs and ages of both fighters, it’s tough to forecast just how this fight might go, though opening odds see Silva as the slight favorite. No matter who is able to get their hand raised, the fight should be fun while it lasts.
Rest of the Card
The remainder of Friday’s card is littered with UFC veterans and names that may be familiar to MMA fans around the world. Action fighter and UFC veteran Maki Pitolo will fight 39-year-old Doug Usher on the main card. Pitolo will surely bring the aggression to Usher, a member of MOAB Fighting Concepts who has been active as of late despite his age and is riding a nine-fight winning streak. A light heavyweight tilt between Andrew Sanchez, another former UFC name, and MMA mainstay Gabriel Checco will round out the main card. Sanchez compiled a respectable 5-5 record inside the octagon and will have a prime chance to get back on track against Checco, who is coming off a loss to Rashad Evans back at Eagle FC 44 in January.
Sean Soriano will headline the prelims in a lightweight bout against Paulo Silva and should be one of a handful of names MMA fans will recognize moving down the card. Roosevelt Roberts will also be in action when he takes on Alexandre de Almeida, while highly touted Dagestani Islam Mamedov looks to right the ship moving down the card. Other notable names competing on Friday will include the likes of traveled veteran Ronny Markes, former Khabib Nurmagomedov foe Darrell Horcher, and Shawn Bunch, a former Bellator fighter who won his Eagle FC debut back in January.