The Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) returned to Sao Paulo, Brazil, with an impressive fight card. The main event was a clash between Brazil’s own rising heavyweight star, Jailton Almeida, and the UFC’s knockout leader, Derrick Lewis. Approaching the event, the trajectory of both fighters was disparate. Almeida was on a 14-match winning streak, 5-0 in UFC, with all wins by finish. His most recent triumph was over deadly striker Jairzinho Rozenstruik in his first main event. Conversely, despite a stellar destruction of Marcos Rogerio de Lima in his last appearance, Lewis was evidently on the wane, being 38 years old with three consecutive losses.
Despite the grim prospects, Lewis held out well in the main event against Almeida. Even though Almeida was expected to win easily due to his dominance as an old-school grappler, Lewis surprisingly held his own. The passive but determined Lewis received little damage, avoided all submission attempts, and left Almeida struggling to effectively strike. This resulted in Almeida winning all five rounds for a unanimous decision, but the match lacked excitement and did not leave up to the expectation of a dominant, quick stoppage for Almeida.
In the co-main event, promising Brazilian fighter Gabriel Bonfim clashed with tough Danish veteran Nicholas Dalby. With a remarkable 15-0 record, including exceptional victories over Mounir Lazzez and Trevin Giles, Bonfim had a high pace to the fight. Yet, this proved to be too much for him, leading to a shift of momentum towards the end of the second round. Dalby took control of the fight, landing an unending barrage of strikes on Bonfim until the referee had to intervene.
In other significant fights, Elves Brener defeated Kaynan Kruschewsky due to a defensive lapse by the latter. Vitor Petrino also stayed undefeated, knocking out skilled striker Modestas Bukauskas. A potential set of interesting fights is suggested for the winners of UFC Fight Night 231. Notably, a match between Jailton Almeida and Sergey Spivak peaks interest due to the formidable grappling skills and striking strategies of both the fighters. Furthermore, a fight between Nicolas Dalby and Kevin Holland could prove thrilling with Holland’s knockout attempts and Dalby’s persistent approach. Elves Brener could have a striking challenge against Drew Dober, and Vitor Petrino’s prospects against Ryan Spann, with his wonderfully timed striking skills, could make up for an exciting lineup.