Atlanta, GA — Antonio Carlos Junior has made the PFL 2022, but it has a cost.
“Shoeface” has cemented his place in the post-season for the second year in a row by defeating fellow Brazilian Bruce Souto in the co-main event of PFL 4. The 2021 PFL champion clinched the third seed with nine points.
Carlos Junior (15-5, 2NC) will return to action on August 5 in New York, but he faces his teammate and very close friend Omari Akmedov, who clinched the No. 2 seed. Naturally, the Brazilian is not happy to be facing his teammate.
“Man, I can’t tell you that I’m feeling good about [fighting Akmedov]. You know, to be honest, Omari is a really great friend. We are great training partners, you know, we always train together. He helped me out a lot for the championship. So I’m not going to feel good,” Carlos Junior told Cageside Press during his PFL 4 post-fight interview. “Like, in the past, I fought some friends in jujitsu and stuff, but MMA is a little bit different. You have to hit your friend, it is kind of weird, but, you know, we are professionals. We’re gonna do what we’re gonna do.”
With Carlos Junior and Akmedov both training at American Top Team in Florida, one would think they might have to split the camp up so they both have time to train, but the Brazilian says it won’t have to be that way.
“Omari is a really respectful guy. We’re not gonna do anything like, ‘oh, we got to split, or I got to train at one time, you’re gonna train another time.’ You just got to respect between spaces,” Carlos Junior said. “I don’t want to make him feel uncomfortable with me. You know? And I’m pretty sure it’s not going to feel that way. Me too; I’m not going to feel uncomfortable with him. He knows all of my game. You know, we all trained together for a very long time. I got nothing to hide from him. So, for sure, it is gonna be hard to fight a friend. But, you know, we got to do this.”
Watch the rest of Antonio Carlos Junior’s PFL 4 post-fight interview above.