In search of a rebound victory after a frustrating loss to Ian Heinisch snapped his five-fight winning streak, middleweight Antonio Carlos Junior is ready to try out a new gameplan for his match against hard-hitting Uriah Hall at UFC Vancouver.
Despite being a decorared Brazilian jiu-jitsu blackbelt, Junior tells Combate that a key part of his MMA grappling had been missing from his arsenal all this time, the ground and pound. Now, ready to make full use of it against Hall, ‘Cara de Sapato’ believes that a more agressive approach on the ground might be way to secure the win in Canada.
“I noticed that he accepts a ground fight, which is great for me. He leaves lots of openings, he needs a lot of room to fight the way he does, which is at a distance, throwing those spinning strikes he does so well. I noticed he doesn’t put on too much volume, it’s usually single strikes. I’ll use that in our favor to even try a takedown during one of those strikes.”
“Once on the ground, we’re home.” Junior continued. “We feel really well, I’ve trained jiu-jitsu my whole life. I’ll work my ground and pound, which is something I practiced a lot. It’s a part of my arsenal, but I haven’t been using it. I think ground and pounds makes way for a submission. It opens a lot of room. That’s one of the things I’ve been using and I’ll use it against him, too.”
Before Carlos Junior’s (10-3- 1 NC) loss to Ian Heinisch, the Brazilian was on a five-fight winning streak with victories over the likes of Leonardo Guimaraes, Marvin Vettori, Eric Spicely, Jack Marshman and Tim Boetsch. All but one came by way of submission.
Now, he is expected to meet Hall at UFC Fight Night 158, in Vancouver, Canada, on September 14. The card is expected to be headlined by a lightweight match between contenders Justin Gaethje and Donald Cerrone.