In a gripping main event at Jorge Masvidal’s Gamebred Bareknuckle MMA, former UFC Heavyweight Champions Junior “Cigano” Dos Santos (22-10) and Fabricio “Vai Cavalo” Werdum (24-10) clashed in a top-level contest. Staged at VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena in Jacksonville, Florida, Dos Santos emerged victorious by split decision after an action-packed showdown.

Feeling on top of the world, Dos Santos expressed his excitement, stating, “It was an incredible fight. I’m feeling awesome.”

The first round had Dos Santos drawing first blood, literally, by cutting Werdum above his right eye, which bled heavily. The second round witnessed an intense stand-up exchange, with Werdum trying to entice Dos Santos to the ground towards the end.

In the deciding third round, Dos Santos unleashed his striking acumen, almost closing Werdum’s left eye, thereby hampering his vision and defense. The final scorecards showed judge Barry Luxenberg favoring Werdum 29-28, while Troy Wincapaw and Daniel Torres both had it 30-27 in favor of Dos Santos.

Delighted by his first bare-knuckle experience, Dos Santos added, “I feel great. My hands are sore but it’s okay. Fighting a legend like Werdum, there’s no way I’m going to the ground with him. It’s all about the jabs, crosses, and hooks.”

Dos Santos is now set to face the victor of the forthcoming battle between heavyweights Alan Belcher and Roy “Big Country” Nelson, set for October 28 at the Mississippi Coast Coliseum in Biloxi, Mississippi.

In the co-main event, Joel “King Bau” Bauman (9-3) halted Maki “Coconut Bombs” Pitolo (15-11) by technical knockout at 2:36 of the second round, following a series of unanswered blows that prompted referee Larry Folsom to intervene.

Another highlight was Joshua “Wide Open” Weems (12-3) securing a unanimous decision over Irwin “Beast” Rivera (12-7) in a 135-pound bout that seemed much closer than the unanimous 30-27 scores suggested.

In additional fights, Ago “The Bosnian Dragon” Huskic (9-5) outpointed Brandon “Killer B” Davis (14-12) in a featherweight bout. Anthony “The Assassin” Njokuani (17-13) prevailed over Brandon “The Human Highlight Reel” Jenkins (16-11) in a 165-pound encounter. Both wins were by unanimous decision.

Crowd-pleaser Joey “El Cazador” Ruquet (10-4) triumphed over Joe “The Party” Penafiel (11-7) with a technical knockout, while Jhonasky “La Maquina” Sojo (14-4) stopped Tyler “Zombie” Hill (11-8) in another catchweight bout. Local talent Reggie “Black Dragon” Northrup (2-0) bested Cody “The Reason” Herbert (3-4) unanimously, and newcomer Shahzaib “King” Rind (1-0) made an emphatic debut by defeating Carlos “Diamante” Guerra (7-8) with a technical stoppage.

Kicking off the event, featherweight Juan “Wild Child” Alvarez (2-0) swiftly ended his fight against Christopher Wingate (1-2) with a heel hook submission just 13 seconds into the first round, setting the tone for an electrifying night of MMA action.