UFC Sao Paulo: Jailton Almeida Outclasses Lewis, Calls Out Ciryl Gane
In a colossal clash of the giants, Jailton Almeida, giving away nearly 30 pounds to Derrick Lewis, delivered a masterclass in dominance during the main event of UFC Sao Paulo in Brazil. Almeida’s exceptional performance left the knockout artist Lewis struggling to find his footing, resulting in a unanimous decision victory for Almeida (50-44, 50-44, 50-45).
While the match may have lacked the explosive finishes we often crave, Almeida’s relentless takedowns and superior control were undeniable. Almeida consistently positioned himself in advantageous spots throughout the grueling 25-minute bout but couldn’t secure the elusive finish. Notably, the Brazilian fighter refrained from inflicting substantial damage on his opponent.
Almeida’s control time was a staggering 21 minutes and 10 seconds, setting a UFC heavyweight record and ranking as the fourth highest overall, according to UFC Stats. This marks the most control time witnessed in a Ultimate Fighting Championship bout in 16 years, harking back to Sean Sherk’s 2007 showdown with Hermes Franca, where Sherk held an all-time record of 22 minutes and 18 seconds of control time.
It’s worth noting that Almeida had never previously seen a victory decision in his 11-year professional career, and the fight’s odds of going the distance were set at an astonishing +1300.
Reflecting on his dominant performance, Almeida stated through an interpreter, “We were able to do that and keep him down and avoid his right hand.
Almeida, who ESPN had ranked as the 10th heavyweight in the world, undoubtedly faced his most formidable opponent in Lewis. Despite Lewis weighing in at the 265-pound limit on Friday, a stark contrast to Almeida’s 236 pounds, Almeida’s combination of sheer strength and technical prowess allowed him to overpower his larger adversary. However, his grappling wizardry fell short of securing a submission or TKO.
Looking ahead, Almeida confidently called out former UFC interim heavyweight champion Ciryl Gane, expressing his readiness to face him on Gane’s home turf in France.
Almeida (20-2) continues to shine with an impressive 15-fight winning streak, including six victories within the UFC. This Brazilian powerhouse had notched 14 consecutive finishes before his latest showcase, earning him a reputation as a fan favorite and bonus collector in the UFC.
On the other hand, Lewis (27-12, 1 NC) finds himself with five losses in his last seven fights, despite his record of 14 knockouts in UFC history. While he came into this contest following a quick 33-second TKO victory in July, the Houston resident struggled against Almeida’s relentless pressure. At 38, Lewis faces challenges ahead in a competitive heavyweight division.
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