PFL 2’s Antonio Carlos Junior Admits to Being “A Little Nervous” in Return

Las Vegas, NV — After a near two year absence, Antonio Carlos Junior admitted after PFL 2 on Friday that “I was a little nervous.”

Carlos Junior (16-5, 2NC) won the PFL‘s 2021 season at light heavyweight, but after two wins the following year suffered an ACL injury that sidelined him for the rest of the season, and all of 2023. With that in mind, the nerves are certainly understandable. But they came before ACJ got into the cage.

Once he stepped inside, the feeling became “I know this place. I missed this place here, and it’s so good to be back, it’s so good to be inside this cage,” he told media outlets including Cageside Press.

From there, it was all about “trying to get the right moment to do what I know.”

That moment came in the opening round, with “Shoeface” locking up a rear-naked choke on Simon Biyong with just under 30 seconds left in the round.

“We always try to get the first round [finish], especially here in the PFL, you’ve got to finish in the first round to get a better chance to go to the playoffs and then fight for the belt,” he said when asked if the finish was something he had been pursuing, or if it just presented itself. “But it’s hard to force things in the fight, because all the guys are tough here.”

“You have to make things present itself, and that’s what I did. I tried to mix it up. The right moment, I feel it was time to go for the takedown, I got it. Go to the back, it’s my best movement, and I got it.”

As for how he’ll celebrate, “I’m going to buy some shoes now,” ACJ said with a laugh.

Watch the full PFL 2 post-fight press conference appearance by Antonio Carlos Junior above.