Former UFC Junior heavyweight champion Dos Santos to make pro wrestling debut for AEW

Junior Dos Santos and Dan Lambert, AEW Dynamite Credit: Twitter / AEW

After his exit from the Ultimate Fighting Championship, former Junior heavyweight champion Dos Santos was looking for a new position. At least temporarily, “Cigano” seems to have found one.

The affable Brazilian slugger recently appeared alongside Dan Lambert of the American Top Team, serving as an executor. In Wednesday’s episode of AEW Dynamite, the ATT coach hosted a six-party team wrestling match between the “Men of the Year” (page Scorpio Skye and Ethan), plus Dos Santos, against the ‘Chris Jericho’s Inner Circle (likely made up of Jericho, Bellator heavyweight Jake Hager, and AEW TNT champion Sammy Guevara).

This happened following an in-ring showdown involving JDS, Dalton Rosta, Paige VanZant and the Men of the Year, Dos Santos finding himself in a fallen Guevara until Jericho and Hager came to his aid.

Dos Santos (21-9) last fought for the UFC in December 2020, losing to current interim champion Ciryl Gane. It was the Brazilian’s fourth consecutive loss, with all four coming via TKO. Prior to that, Dos Santos was sitting on a three-game winning streak.

“Cigano” won gold in the first UFC on the FOX card in 2011, knocking out Cain Velasquez. He defended the title once, against Frank Mir, before losing it to Velasquez. He would also lose the rubber match of their trilogy in 2013, but would revert to a title shot against Stipe Miocic at UFC 211 in May 2017.

Coincidentally, former rival Cain Velasquez also pursued a professional wrestling career following his exit from the UFC, first for the AAA and then for WWE. Velasquez was released by World Wrestling Entertainment earlier this year.

Lambert’s promo on Wednesday night referred to the upcoming match with JDS at AEW Rampage on October 15, which means the actual date you can see JDS making his in-ring debut is pending. October 15th is a Wednesday AEW Dynamite airs live. Rampage, recorded the same evening, airs on Fridays – so the game with JDS may be delayed until then.

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