Former Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Lightweight champion and future Hall of Famer, Khabib Nurmagomedov, just keeps on adding notable names to his Eagle Fighting Championship promotion.
ESPN confirmed today (Weds., March 9, 2022) that former UFC Heavyweight champion, Junior dos Santos, has signed with Eagle FC and will debut opposite Yorgan de Castro on May 20. Also signed to the promotion is former Bellator Middleweight champion and UFC veteran, Hector Lombard, who will debut the same night against UFC Light Heavyweight O.G., Thiago Silva, in the co-main event.
dos Santos’ last appearance inside a mixed martial arts (MMA) cage came in Dec. 2020 against eventual UFC interim champion, Ciryl Gane. Unfortunately for “Cigano,” he would suffer his fourth consecutive knockout loss and depart the organization he’d called home since 2008.
In Nov. 2011, dos Santos captured UFC’s Heavyweight crown in the main event of the historic first UFC on FOX card by defeating Cain Velasquez. He defended the title once against former champion Frank Mir before Velasquez would reclaim the throne.
dos Santos’ next opponent in de Castro is also a UFC alum having fought for the promotion from 2019 to 2021 going 1-3 after earning his contract through Dana White’s Contender Series. The 34-year-old has put together a two-fight win streak since his departure with his last time out taking place at Eagle FC’s Miami, Fla., event in January.
As for Lombard and Silva, the feared knockout artists both haven’t been around the MMA scene too much in recent years with Lombard not having fought since his Sept. 2018 loss to Thales Leites — a sixth straight loss. He has, however, been active as a bare-knuckle boxer for the Bare-Knuckle Fighting Championship (BKFC).
Silva, on the other hand, last fought in UFC in Oct. 2013 when earning a unanimous decision over Matt Hamill. He’s since fought majorly in Russia’s Absolute Championship Berkut (ACB) promotion, now known as Absolute Championship Akhmat (ACA), before most recently competing in Konfrontacja Sztuk Walki (KSW) in May 2019.