Grabbing A Drink With UFC Fighter Antônio “Shoeface” Carlos Júnior


Who: Winner of “The Ultimate Fighter: Brazil 3,” current UFC top Middleweight contender Antônio “Shoeface” Carlos Júnior

What: Woodford Reserve House Old Fashion cocktail paired with the Kimchi Pork Tacos of pork belly that has been sous vide 24 hours, fried, served on flour tortillas, topped with house kimchi, kimchi aioli and pickled radishes; the pan-fried Brussels Sprouts, tossed with pancetta, butternut squash in a balsamic vinaigrette and finished with shredded Parmesan; the Chicken Nachos layered with pulled chicken, black beans, the famous Copper Blues house-made beer cheese sauce, covered and dressed with scratch-made pico de gallo, pickled jalapeños and chipotle sour cream; and the Copper Rib Eye Steak, sous vide to a perfect medium-rare, pan-seared with rosemary and butter, served with confit potatoes in butter, thyme and garlic.   

Where: Copper Blues Rock Pub & Kitchen at Cityplace, 550 S. Rosemary Ave., Ste. 250, West Palm Beach / 561.404.4101 / / @copperblueswpb

1) The first time I knew I wanted to become a professional fighter was: as soon as I began Brazilian jiu-jitsu at age 15. I told my mom, and she did not like it for sure, but I knew what I wanted. I love the routine: wake up every day, go to the gym, sweat and always learn something new. I’m moved by challenges, so learning new techniques and applying them during a fight is a big challenge for me. 

2) The story behind how I received my nickname of “Shoeface” is: that I had a coach who was really funny and liked to put nicknames on everybody. He said I have a big chin, like a square shoe. After that, everyone started calling me “Shoeface.” In the beginning I hated the nickname, but now I’m good with it. Sometimes kids think it’s some kind of superhero. 

3) The biggest misconception that people have about fighting in the UFC is: that it’s just a brawl when actually there’s a lot of technique, training and strategy involved. I train twice a day Monday through Friday, and Saturday mornings. Sunday is my only day off. I love eating, but I usually have to lose around 25 pounds before every fight, so I have to stop eating some of the things I love. 

4) A lot of people might be surprised to learn that I’m actually afraid of: my wife. You know the idea “happy wife, happy life?” The people we love are the only ones with the power to change our humor. I always want to make sure things are right so I won’t have problems. 

5) When I travel back to my homeland of Brazil, I’m surprised by: how great my mom’s food is. The way she cooks is unbelievable. That and how nice the people are to me. In Brazil we have almost a monopoly in TV. Everybody watches Globo Channel, so if you’re on Globo and the show “The Ultimate Fighter” like I was, you’re going to be very recognizable. After I won the show everything changed. People are always very nice with me, recognizing my work, and this is awesome.

A native of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Antônio “Shoeface” Carlos Júnior won a World Cup Championship in 2006, as well as two World Championships in 2010 in Brazilian jiu-jitsu prior to earning his coveted black belt. In 2014, he was crowned the Heavyweight champion in season three of the popular “The Ultimate Fighter Brazil” competition reality TV series. Universally respected for his dedication to his craft, and beloved throughout mixed martial arts for his affability and charm, the fighter currently trains with famed American Top Team in Coconut Creek.

About The Cocktail: 

The Woodland Reserve Rye House Old-Fashioned:

2 ounces Woodford Reserve Rye

1/4 ounces Organic Raw Cane Sugar Simple Syrup (to taste)

2 dashes each of Angostura and Orange Bitters

Stir in fresh ice, strain over one large cubed ice block in a rocks glass. Garnished with an orange. 


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