Johnny Eduardo was a huge underdog entering the Octagon Saturday night at UFC Fight Night 40, as he had not fought in over 700 days and was facing fourth-ranked Eddie Wineland.
One huge right-hand later, followed by another, and Eduardo had the upset, scoring a knockout over the one-time title contender.
Eduardo (27-9) last fought in early 2012, defeating Jeff Curran. He lost his Octagon debut to Raphael Assuncao after stringing together an 11-fight win streak in Brazil.
“Wow,” Eduardo exclaimed while watching the replay. “It was a great punch. I guess he was No. 4, so I guess that makes me No. 4. I never want to leave (the UFC).”
The Brazilian trains with champions Jose Aldo and Renan Barao at Nova Uniao and Blackhouse and showed why some believe that, despite being 35 years old, he can still make waves in the bantamweight division.
“Thank the UFC for giving me this opportunity,” he said. “I feel much better now. I am in the right state of mind. I train with two champions and this was the work of our team.”
Last year, Eduardo signed to meet Yves Jabouin, but an injury forced him out. He agreed to take on Lucas Martins later in the year, but again, an injury forced the cancellation of that fight.
Wineland (21-10-1) has now gone just 3-4 since joining the UFC in 2011. He lost to Barao last year via TKO in the second round, but rebounded to stop Jabouin in January. The former WEC champion lost for just the third time via knockout in his career.