Antonio Carlos Jr. dominant in victory to claim ‘TUF Brazil 3’ crown
It was supposed to be an old school battle between a grappler versus a striker, but Antonio "Cara de Sapato" Carlos Jr. had other ideas as the Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt out punched, out kicked and out wrestled Vitor Miranda to win the heavyweight crown for "TUF Brazil 3."
Coming into the fight, Carlos was best known for his long list of accolades in the grappling circuit where he won multiple titles including the Pan American championships in 2012. Training with former UFC heavyweight champion Junior dos Santos has obviously upped his striking game, however, as he came after Miranda with fierce combinations throughout all three rounds of the fight.
Miranda, a former professional kickboxer, never got comfortable on his feet as he instead played defense for the majority of the fight whether it was fending off Carlos’ punches or trying to avoid the takedown.
Time after time, Carlos either rushed in with combinations tagging Miranda, or he was pushing forward with aggressive takedowns to put the Team Sonnen fighter on the mat. Carlos looked for a few submissions on the ground, but to his credit Miranda defended them well and stayed away from anything putting him in serious danger.
Unfortunately that was about all he could do as Carlos transitioned from standing to ground fluidly again and again until the final horn sounded. The judges returned scores of 30-27, 30-27, and 29-28, all in favor of Antonio Carlos Jr.
With the win secured, Carlos — the lone member of Team Wanderlei to make the finals — likely will drop down at least one if not two weight classes now that the season is over. Carlos was a small heavyweight at best and with some work could probably get down as low as middleweight for his next fight inside the Octagon.