Jailton Almeida’s rise has been a rapid one, but the Brazilian heavyweight is happy to ride the wave as far as it’ll carry him.
Almeida takes on Jairzinho Rozenstruik in the main event of UFC Charlotte on Saturday night, and the 20-fight veteran, who is 4-0 under the UFC banner, said he’s
“Honestly, things have been going pretty quickly,” he said.
“I have like a year and change in the organization. To not only be in a main event but being ranked and everything that’s happened since I got in, I really appreciate the organization for giving me the opportunity.”
All of Almeida’s 18 career wins have come inside the distance, with seven knockouts and 11 submissions to his name. His reputation as a finisher has helped propel him up the UFC’s heavyweight rankings and he heads into the weekend listed 12th in the UFC’s heavyweight list.
But, despite his penchant for finishing fights early, Almeida said he won’t pressure himself to keep up his 100 percent finish rate as he continues his rise in the UFC.
“I don’t think there’s any pressure,” he said.
“I’m always ready for the full length of the fight. For this one, I’ve trained everything for five rounds. I guess the style is just more effective than most.
“We are very finish oriented, so that’s what we’re always looking for. Doesn’t matter if it’s the first round, the fifth round, whenever I get a chance to do it. No added pressure … I just go with the flow.”
In order to climb that heavyweight ladder, he’ll have to defeat Rozenstruik, a dangerous knockout artist with the sort of fight-ending power that can stop a surging prospect in his tracks. It’s a skillset Almeida is very aware of, and the Brazilian said he’ll have to watch his P’s and Q’s as he takes on “Bigi Boy” in the Octagon on Saturday night.
“Yeah, we know what he does. He’s a very good striker, very dangerous striker. So we have to be super careful with that,” he said.
“You know, he does present a lot of risk. But my grappling is way above average. I think I might be among the best in the division grappling-wise. And I know that if I can take him to the ground. I’m gonna have the advantage and I can look for the finish there.”