MMA legends Junior Dos Santos and Fabricio Werdum went dface to face Wednesday at the final press conference before the former UFC Heavyweight Champions go head to head in the main event of Jorge Masvidal’s Gamebred Bareknuckle MMA event this Friday, September 8 from VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena in Jacksonville, Fla. and streamed live and for free on the Gamebred Bareknuckle MMA YouTube page.

Tickets for the live event are available now and can be secured through Ticketmaster.com.

The press conference also spotlighted Irwing “Irwin” Armando Rivera and Joshua Weems, who are featured in a top-leve undercard in a three-round bantamweight battle.

At the press conference, Masvidal shared that the Dos Santos vs. Werdum victor will be next to challenge the winner of Gamebred Bareknuckle MMA’s upcoming main event. This fight will showcase heavyweight fighters Alan Belcher and Roy “Big Country” Nelson in a make-or-break showdown on Saturday, October 28 from Mississippi Coast Coliseum in Biloxi. More information about this event will be released soon.

Here are the comments from the press conference participants on Wednesday at VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena:


“I’m honored to stand center stage on such a prominent night. Competing at this level is exhilarating. Come Friday night, Jacksonville is in for a spectacle. This chapter in my career holds a unique significance.

“My prep for bare-knuckle fighting hasn’t drastically differed. Training involved a lot of strikes on pads and heavy bags without any gloves. A notable variation is the potential for more facial injuries in this format.

“I don’t perceive this as a re-fight, given the changed circumstances. Yet, the fundamental difference remains; his grappling versus my punches.

“The drive for me is to demonstrate my best in the ring. Achieving that, I believe victory is assured.

“Through sheer grit and sacrifices, I’ve carved my identity. This opportunity feels like a reward. The thrill of bare-knuckle fighting adds a fresh element, and I’m stoked.

“Taking on the victor between Belcher and Nelson would be an interesting prospect. Post this Friday’s fight, we’ll gear up for whatever lies ahead.”


“I’m brimming with enthusiasm for the upcoming fight. I’ve conditioned myself, confident that our duel will be memorable.

“Past events don’t shape my thoughts; I’m immersed in the present. This is my time.

“The absence of gloves could favor my grappling technique. The bare-knuckle aspect might tilt the odds in my favor. It’s a realm I’m fairly at ease with.

“Transitioning to bare-knuckle doesn’t feel radically different, given the thin MMA gloves. Frequent gloveless training sessions have prepared me for this day.

“Masvidal is remarkable. As a fellow fighter, he comprehends my aspirations. I can always lean on him for insights.

“My sole concentration right now is the impending Friday fight. Post that, my thoughts will pivot to future challenges.”

JORGE MASVIDAL, CEO of Gamebred Bareknuckle MMA

“This venture is a collective effort, and my gratitude goes out to my squad. The adrenaline is tangible. Recognizing the mind space fighters enter, especially in bare-knuckle combat, I understand the gravity. It demands a particular mental zone for optimal performance.

“I’m convinced that our event will stir discussions far and wide. It’s a top-contender fight card, end to end. The fighters lined up for this are genuine combatants. Anticipate a phenomenal display.

“The victor of Friday’s main event will take on the champion from the October 28 fight – Roy Nelson vs. Alan Belcher. This announcement is monumental, and the excitement is palpable.

“Predicting the outcome of the main event is a daily dilemma for me. The prowess of both Dos Santos and Werdum is legendary, making the anticipation even more electrifying.

“The raw nature of bare-knuckle fighting offers an unparalleled combat experience. The fighters competing on September 8 are the crème de la crème. If you’re new to bare-knuckle, brace yourself for sheer intensity.

“These fighters have been meticulously strategizing since their last fight. I anticipate it’ll be a contender for the fight of the year.”


“Here lies an avenue to elevate my life. While many dismissed my potential, I remain relentless. This platform is my proving ground. I promise Jacksonville an unforgettable showcase.

“I aim not just for a stellar performance but a decisive win. Armed with strategy, concentration, and resolve, I’m on my way.

“In this sport, the mind reigns supreme. Mental mastery has amplified my combat techniques and instincts. I’ve laid out my game plan and am ready to execute.

“Fight night is my release. I’m geared to unleash. I hold reverence for anyone willing to step into the cage, but that deference is reserved for post-battle. Presently, it’s war.

“Self-awareness propels me. Relishing the journey and delivering on D-day is my ethos. This sport and I have history.”


“The stage is set, and I’m geared up to enthrall. Sharing the limelight with such legends is surreal. Given both our fighting styles, Rivera and I are set to electrify. Florida, get ready for my debut.

“The stakes are make-or-break, but I thrive under such pressure. Eagerly awaiting to step into the ring and deliver a spectacle.

“Post my last fight, I felt out of element. Now, back in my weight class, I’m poised to bring my A-game. My unpredictable nature will be his puzzle to solve.

“While Rivera is known to be aggressive, my arsenal is prepared. He’ll experience firsthand my peak form. I’ve trained relentlessly and come Friday, there’ll be no room for regrets.”