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Antonio Carlos Junior mugged at gunpoint in Brazil, escapes unscathed from shootout

UFC middleweight Antonio Carlos Junior was the last UFC fighter to suffer from street violence in Brazil.

Antonio Carlos Junior is a contestant on Big Brother Brazil.
Antonio Carlos Junior
Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports

It has been a tough few days for UFC fighters in Brazil. Just one week after strawweight champion Jessica Andrade was robbed of her car and smartphone at gunpoint, in Rio de Janeiro, The Ultimate Fighter Brazil 3 winner Antonio Carlos Junior suffered a similar fate in Sao Paulo.

In an interview with Combate, the 29-year-old detailed how he was robbed of his watch, a Rolex, at gunpoint, while he was sitting in traffic alongside a friend while on their way to a photo shoot.

“I was going to a photo shoot,” Carlos Junior said. “We stopped at a red light in front of the JK mall when a man tapped on the glass with a gun. I was sitting in the passenger seat, all I heard was the noise and then I thought: ‘Oh, sh-t. I’m f-cked, there goes my phone.’ But the guy wanted my watch, which I gave to him right away. A police officer came from the other side of the road, pointing his gun at the thief, who fired in our direction while running away. One bullet hit the windshield, lost power and bounced on another car. Another bullet hit right between the doors, right in the middle of it. I was scared sh-tless, I thanked God that nothing happened. We were lucky we weren’t hit. It was a Rolex, man, it cost some money. It was used when I bought it, I had it for a while.”

Despite the scare, Junior was glad all he lost was his watch. However, Antonio expressed his disapproval of Brazil’s current situation on the streets, pointing out he was not used to it anymore after living in Florida for the past couple of years.

“They couldn’t catch the criminal,” he said. “They said there is a gang who only goes after watches, no phones. There were three motorcycles. One stayed glued to us the previous turn, but we thought it was someone who had recognized us. Then I thought my friend could have done something dangerous, because I was on my phone and not paying attention. They told us that sometimes they will have a scout who stays by the mall, he’s the one who tells them what’s the car and the watch. We must be grateful for what we have. Last week there was Gabriel Diniz [a Brazilian singer who died in an airplane crash], he was my friend, you don’t know what tomorrow will be like. That’s a warning to the government. Public safety is faulty, we are unsafe out here. I had my phone, my watch, because living in the United States, you develop a habit of not paying attention all the time.”

In his last outing, Antonio Carlos Junior (10-3-1 NC) was defeated by Ian Heinisch via unanimous decision, in May. The loss snapped a five-fight winning streak, with four submissions, with victories over Leonardo Guimaraes, Marvin Vettori, Eric Spicely, Jack Marshman, and Tim Boetsch.

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