UFC Fight Night 231 Preview: Almeida vs. Lewis

In 2023, the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) finally added Brazil back to its travel schedule. The promotion’s return to Sao Paulo presents a deep card. The main highlight of the event comes from the heavyweight bout between the rising prospect, Jailton Almeida, and the knockout king, Derrick Lewis. The stakes are clearly the highest for this match. However, there is a considerable amount of high-potential Brazilian talent showcased throughout the rest of the card. Gabriel Bonfim, continuing his streak of electrifying performances, faces welterweight stalwart Nicolas Dalby in the co-main event. There is also an impressive middleweight bout lined up between rankings-ready prospect, Caio Borralho, who is set to meet with recent headliner, Abusupiyan Magomedov.

The match between Rodolfo Vieira and Armen Petrosyan also stands out as a must-see grappler-versus-striker chess match. Almeida, a part of the fresh wave of talent in the UFC’s heavyweight division, has emerged as a rising sensation, owing to his impressive performances. He entered the UFC in 2021 through Dana White’s Contender Series as a remarkable light heavyweight prospect. Almeida’s game strategy, simple but effective, revolves around scoring takedowns and finishes, which he often succeeds in doing in an impressive manner. After a successful UFC debut, he decided to switch to heavyweight following some opponent changes and took off from there.

As for Lewis, the UFC’s all-time knockout leader, this is a big chance for him to regain the momentum he had lost in previous years. Lewis’s knockout artist charisma immediately shot him to fame upon his UFC debut in 2014. However, a few one-sided losses led to concerns that “The Black Beast” might be a flash in the pan. Instead, he won nine out of ten matches to earn a heavyweight title shot in 2018, reaching his career-high success. His last few performances have been marked by a pressing need for more knockouts. His fight against Almeida will be an important test for both fighters and they will need all their strength and capabilities in this intense matchup.

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