180kg MMA icon's embarrassing premature celebration fail

Andrew Reid
·3-min read
MMA cult hero Zuluzinho's joy was short-lived after a sad celebration fail. Pic: Twitter
MMA cult hero Zuluzinho's joy was short-lived after a sad celebration fail. Pic: Twitter

MMA cult hero Zuluzinho has once again lit up the fighting world, but unfortunately for the 180kg star it was in all the wrong ways,

The towering six-foot-five man mountain made a stunning return for the Russian fight promotion, AMC Fight Nights in Sochi.

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Affectionately nicknamed 'Little Zulu', the 42-year-old Brazilian went into his fight against unbeaten heavyweight Yusup Shuaev on a four-fight winning streak.

He also enjoyed a whopping 45kg weight advantage over his rival.

Zuluzinho is famously remembered after suffering a first-round TKO against MMA legend Fedor Emelianenko in the Pride FC championship in 2005, before it was absorbed by the UFC.

The veteran fighter went missing from the MMA world for eight years but made a dramatic comeback in 2018, before going on his latest four-fight winning streak.

The cult figure thought he'd extended that streak to five fights against Shuaev when he dropped the Russian in the first round with a massive right hand.

'Little Zulu' followed that up with a flurry of ground strikes on his stricken opponent, before the referee intervened.

Zuluzinho began celebrating what he thought was a stunning TKO win, unbeknownst that the referee was simply calling an end to the opening round.

A 'lost in translation' moment saw the 42-year-old throws his arms up in triumph before collapsing onto the canvas in relief.

The Brazilian behemoth lay on the canvas for a good minute, soaking up what he thought was an impressive win before the referee came over and the sad realisation dawned on him.

Rubbing salt into the wounds for Zuluzinho was the fact he was dominated for the ensuing two rounds, and ending up losing the bout as Shuaev adopted a stick and run tactic.

Fans react to dramatic Zuluzinho fight

The Russian ended up being awarded victory by majority decision to snap Zuluzinho's winning streak at four.

In spite of Zuluzinho's embarrassing celebration fail, fans were just happy he was gracing the MMA stages again.

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