After Antonio Carlos Junior lost to Brad Tavares at UFC 257, he was released from the promotion.
Carlos Junior was a TUF winner and had some success in the UFC. However, he was on a three-fight losing skid with decision losses to Ian Heinisch, Uriah Hall, and Tavares. Before the setbacks, he was on a five-fight winning streak and has notable wins over Marvin Vettori and Tim Boetsch among others. However, this was not enough to keep his job.
Although he was released, Antonio Carlos Junior says he now feels free and is looking at what’s next.
“You get upset at first, you had that personal goal you wanted to accomplish,” Carlos Junior said to MMAFighting. “I went there for the gold but it’s not only up to us. I wanted to conquer that [title], I wanted to leave as champion, but then I started seeing there are many opportunities outside, so in a way I felt a bit more free because of the negotiations and sponsorships.
“My manager and I are discussing a few ideas… In fact, I’m even feeling a bit more free, a bit more relieved actually,” he continued. “This change will be good for me in a way, both professionally and financially. I think it will be positive. The UFC was great for me for some time but I think it was time for a change and we’ll see what comes next.”
There is no question Carlos Junior will have options in free agency. Perhaps, he moves up to light heavyweight and fights in PFL. Regardless, the Brazilian is looking forward to seeing what free agency has in store for him.
Where do you think Antonio Carlos Junior signs?