2021 PFL Championship results: Antonio Carlos Junior snatches choke, $1 million prize

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Antonio Carlos Junior saw his moment to snatch a choke, and with it a $1 million prize, in the 2021 PFL light heavyweight championship bout Wednesday in Hollywood, Fla.

In front of a passionate crowd in his adopted home state of Florida, Junior (13-5) submitted Norway’s Marthin Hamlet (8-3) with a rear-naked choke at 3:49 of Round 1.

2021 PFL Championship took place at Seminole Hard Rock Casino & Hotel. The main card aired on ESPN2/ESPN+ after prelims on ESPN+.

After a handful of patient sequences from both men, Junior resorted to his bread and butter: the ground game. A successful takedown attempt from “Shoeface” landed him on the back of Hamlet. As Hamlet attempted to spin out of the body lock, he stood up.

That proved to be a mistake as Junior, a Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt maintained control and sunk in a standing rear-naked choke. The two fighters tumbled backward and the choke became deeper. Hamlet tapped shortly thereafter.

Junior, 31, wins a PFL title and a $1 million prize in his first season with the promotion. Prior to his UFC departure in early 2021, Junior competed 13 times under the promotion’s banner and compiled a 7-5 record with one no contest.

Once in PFL, Junior defeated Tom Lawlor and competed in a “no contest” against Vinny Magalhaes which ended in a groin strike. In the opening round of the playoffs, Junior defeated Emeliano Sordi via unanimous decision.

As for Hamlet, the 29-year-old went 1-1 in the 2021 PFL regular season before he won in the playoff semifinals against Cezar Ferreira, a fight that ended in controversial fashion.

The up-to-the-minute 2021 PFL Championship results include: