Brazilian heavyweight contender Jailton Almeida catapulted himself into the upper echelon of the UFC heavyweight division with a one-round domination of Jairzinho Rozenstruik at UFC Charlotte.
The 31-year-old from Salvador needed to bide his time a little as he fended off an early surge from knockout artist Rozenstruik. But, once Almeida changed levels and took “Bigi Boy” to the canvas, the Suriname striker had nothing to offer as “Malhadinho” simply dominated his man on the mat.
After establishing comfortable control from top position, Almeida moved Rozenstruik towards the fence and threatened with an arm-triangle choke before eventually switching techniques and locking up a rear-naked choke as he flattened out Rozenstruik, put him face down on the canvas, and forced the tap after three minutes, 45 seconds.
In the co-main event, Johnny Walker produced a controlled, calculated performance to defeat former title challenger Anthony Smith via unanimous decision.
Walker had built a reputation as a spectacular, if a little wild, striker, but he showed a more circumspect approach to his game as he picked apart Smith over three rounds, using his leg kicks to excellent effect throughout to earn scores of 29-28, 30-27, 30-27 from the judges.
Prior to the co-main event, fans were treated to a hat-trick of stoppages, courtesy of Ian Garry, Carlos Ulberg and Alex Morono.
Morono kicked off the main card with a second-round submission of Tim Means, while Ulberg claimed his third consecutive stoppage victory in the Octagon with a 129-second TKO of Ihor Potieria.
That set the stage for the eagerly-anticipated welterweight clash between Ian Garry and Daniel Rodriguez, with D-Rod expected to provide the toughest test of Garry’s career.
However, after a short feeling-out process, Garry started to open up, and a big head kick put Rodriguez in trouble. Garry closed in with follow-up strikes to claim a statement stoppage.
The night also saw a huge win for one of the UFC’s most beloved veterans as Matt Brown tied Derrick Lewis for the UFC’s all-time knockouts record with a one-shot KO of fellow Octagon stalwart Court McGee.
That win was one of two highlight-reel moments on the preliminary card, with the other “wow” moment belonging to Bryan Battle, who weathered an early barrage from Gabe Green before sparking his man with a big right hand for a 14-second knockout.
UFC Charlotte: Official results
- Jailton Almeida def. Jairzinho Rozenstruik via submission (rear-naked choke) – Round 1, 3:43
- Johnny Walker def. Anthony Smith via unanimous decision (29-28, 30-27, 30-27)
- Ian Garry def. Daniel Rodriguez via TKO (head kick and punches) – Round 1, 2:57
- Carlos Ulberg def. Ihor Potieria via TKO (punches) – Round 1, 2:09
- Alex Morono def. Tim Means via submission (rear-naked choke) – Round 2, 2:09
- Matt Brown def. Court McGee via knockout (punch) – Round 1, 4:09
- Karl Williams def. Chase Sherman via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)
- Douglas Silva de Andrade def. Cody Stamann via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
- Mandy Bohm def. Kim Ji Yeon via technical split decision (27-28, 28-27, 28-27)
- Bryan Battle def. Gabe Green via knockout (punch) – Round 1, 0:14
- Tainara Lisboa def. Jessica-Rose Clark via submission (rear-naked choke) – Round 3, 4:20