Antonio Carlos Junior made a successful statement in his first PFL season in 2021, getting his way through Tom Lawlor, Emiliano Sordi and Marthin Hamlet to capture that year’s PFL light heavyweight championship. A Brazilian jiu-jitsu expert, Carlos Junior, known as “Shoeface,” also has been a Pan-American and world champion in the discipline. Carlos Junior won both of his regular season bouts in 2022 – a submission win over Delan Monte and a decision over Bruce Souto – but an ACL tear has kept him on the sidelines since.


Simon Biyong’s striking has been key to his success in MMA so far, with seven of his nine victories in the cage thus far coming via knockout. Biyong, who was born in Cameroon and fights out of Italy, has won six of his last eight fights and competed, with his last four fights taking place in Bellator. Biyong most recently dropped a unanimous decision to Jose Augusto at Bellator 296.


This classic grappler vs. striker matchup should be an interesting one to watch in tonight’s action.



Round 1


Low kick from Carlos Junior. Low kick from Biyong. Both men stumble after landing strong jabs. Left hand by Biyong. Left hand from Biyong again. Both showing their jabs in the first minute. Carlos Junior goes for an inside single-leg takedown, and he presses Biyong against the SmartCage. Carlos Junior continues to press, his hands locked around the back of Biyong. Carlos Junior gets to Biyong’s back and is able to get the fight to the ground.


Carlos Junior gets a hook in. Carlos Junior uses his left hand to punch and weaken the defenses of Biyong. “Shoeface” gets a body triangle in. A few seconds later, Carlos Junior goes for the rear-naked choke. It’s a tight squeeze. Biyong tries to hand fight. He manages to fend off Carlos Junior’s submission attempt, but “Shoeface” continues to have control and continues to land punches. Carlos Junior goes for the choke again, and this time he gets the submission!



Fellow fighters beware: “Shoeface” is back and his grappling game is still strong!





“Shoeface” Antonio Carlos Jr. defeats Simon Biyong by 1st round submission (rear-naked choke, 4:34), earning 6 points in the PFL Light Heavyweight Division