Jailton Almeida sets new UFC record in fight against Derrick Lewis. How did it go down?
In a clash of styles at UFC Sao Paulo, it was the hometown boy who came out on top in a five-round bout against one of the heaviest hitters out there.
While he will undoubtedly be pleased with the victory, it’s actually a double-edged sword in that it now means he’s truly among the big boys. Indeed, from here on it will be a much tougher road for the Brazilian fighter.
Jailton Almeida outlasts heavy-hitting Derrick Lewis
On Saturday night, Jailton Almeida put on a disciplined and tactical performance as he dominated Derrick Lewis with an array of takedowns and submission attempts - he had 6 of 5 and 4 respectively - across five rounds in Sao Paulo, Brazil. Being a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt, it was always expected that Almeida would control the fight when it came to grappling, even more so when considering that Lewis took the fight on short notice. Indeed, his 21:10 of control time is now a record in the UFC. Yet, it’s worth noting that it wasn’t until there were just 45 seconds left in the fight, that he managed to get a double leg before slamming Lewis to the floor.
Of course, there is good reason for the idea that Almeida took so long to close out Lewis despite controlling the fight more than 84% of the time. As the UFC’s all-time knockout leader, Lewis is undoubtedly a very dangerous man. Indeed, the few times that he managed to get to his feet, he threw a flurry of punches at Almeida, quite a few of which actually landed as evidenced by the 20 of 39 stat line that he registered. Consider for a moment that whenever he has landed more than 50% of his punches in a fight, he’s won. Unfortunately for the American fighter, it was not to be. According to Yahoo Sports, Almeida received 10-8 scores in each of the first three rounds and finished with a 50-42 overall count.
Jailton Almeida vs Derrick Lewis: Post-fight reaction
As mentioned above, Lewis’ hands are well known in the fight business and Almeida didn’t hide the idea that he and his crew paid special attention to that fact. “We knew he has heavy hands and we had 15 or 20 days to come up with a strategy for this fight,” Almeida said in the Octagon. “We were able to do that and keep him down. And the point is his right hand, I was touched and I really didn’t feel it.” It could be that Almeida would have had something different to say had Lewis managed to do better at countering his many takedown attempts, but such is the way the cookie crumbles. As for what comes next, Almeida will now move into the ranks of the elites of the heavyweight division i.e., things are about to get a whole lot tougher. Can he cope? We’ll be waiting to see.