Jailton Almeida Aims for Showdown with Former Title Contender Ciryl Gane

Jailton Almeida challenged heavyweight contender Ciryl Gane following his overwhelming decision victory against Derrick Lewis during UFC Fight Night 231 on a Saturday. For Almeida with a record of 20-2, he was expected to triumph in his headlining confrontation against the renowned knockout artist while the UFC was making a return to Sao Paulo, Brazil after a four-year break. As anticipated, “Malhadinho” employed a grappling-heavy strategy, effectively neutralizing Lewis’ offense earning a record for a new heavyweight control time exceeding 21 minutes.

However, Almeida’s remarkable performance spurred some uncertainties, specifically for Michael Bisping. Both Bisping and Brendan Fitzgerald were of the opinion that Almeida should’ve aggressively sought a finish, with the referee having to require activity considering the fight was highly one-sided. On the other hand, Dominick Cruz continually praised Almeida for his equanimity and for eschewing any risks of giving Lewis any leeway.

Almeida was of the belief that he had put on an impressive show. Though he was caught on a few occasions, he stoutly claimed not to have felt much of Lewis’ power, an element most considered the reason behind his inactivity. Post-fight, in his Octagon interview, Almeida proceeded to challenge French contender Gane. Almeida is quoted saying, “He wanted a brawl, and I said it was gonna be a show, so did I give you guys the show or what? … We knew that he has a heavy hand. We had 15 to 20 days to come up with a strategy for this fight. And we were able to do that and keep him down and avoid his right hand. I was touched and I didn’t really feel it… And I’m gonna call out a name here, I want Ciryl Gane. I will fight in Paris, we can do it in Salvador, wherever. I’m ready, let’s do it Ciryl Gane.”

Lewis stepped up on short notice to take the place of grappling expert Curtis Blaydes, which would have posed a completely different style match up for Almeida. With all of his prior victories coming via stoppage, “Malhadinho” remained undefeated in his six UFC fights. As for the Frenchman, “Bon Gamin” was fresh off a Round 2 TKO win against Sergey Spivak in September and held a current record of 2-2 in his last four fights.

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