Brazilian heavyweight contender Jailton Almeida used his wrestling and grappling to neutralise the record-breaking knockout power of former title challenger Derrick Lewis in the main event of UFC Fight Night in Sao Paulo, Brazil.
Almeida ensured Lewis was standing in front of him for the smallest time possible as he took down “The Black Beast” in every round and controlled the American on the mat for more than 21 minutes of the five-round matchup to earn a shutout win on the scorecards, with scores of 50-44, 50-44, 50-45.
Almeida was expected to use his submission skills to try to finish Lewis on the ground, but despite repeatedly managing to get the big Texan to the canvas, the highly-touted contender was unable to do too much of significance with Lewis, who defended well off his back to avoid both damage from ground strikes, and submissions from the Brazilian.
With Lewis effectively defending himself on the mat, each round started with an air of anticipation, with the American knowing that his best chance of victory relied on him connecting with something big before Almeida changed levels and took him down again.
Unfortunately for “The Black Beast,” he couldn’t find that game-changing shot, and Almeida wrestled his way to a dominant, if unspectacular, victory.
Dalby stuns hot prospect Bonfim
In the co-main event, Cage Warriors welterweight champion Nicolas Dalby produced one of the best performances of his UFC career to halt the charge of previously undefeated prospect Gabriel Bonfim.
The bout started at a breakneck pace, with Bonfim looking to produce a big performance on home soil, but in Dalby he faced a man equally happy to stand and trade as the pair swapped strikes in a breathless opening.
The pace continued into Round 2, but as the round reached the mid-way point, Dalby started to push the pace on Bonfim, whose work became a little more ragged. Bonfim looked to fight off the back foot to give himself some breathing room, but Dalby simply wouldn’t give him that luxury as he stayed in his face and hammered him with punches, elbows and knees.
Eventually, one well-placed right knee dropped Bonfim, and a flurry of follow-up ground strikes forced Jason Herzog to wave off the fight as Dalby proved just how explosive “Danish Dynamite” can be.
Best of the rest
The main card opened with a stunning one-shot knockout from Brazil’s Elves Brener, who face-planted compatriot Kayan Kruschewski with a perfect counter hook, while on the preliminary card, Vitor Petrino unleashed a counter hook of his own to flatten former Cage Warriors light heavyweight champion Modestas Bukauskas. Eduarda Moura also picked up an inside-the distance victory with a second-round TKO finish of Montserrat Ruiz.
The main card saw decision wins for Brazil’s Rodrigo Nascimento and Caio Borralho, while the prelims saw scorecard successes for Angela Hill, and Marc Diakiese. There was also a draw on the card, with welterweights Rinat Fakhretdinov and Elizeu Zaleski dos Santos battling to a draw in the featured prelim bout.
UFC Sao Paulo: Official results
- Jailton Almeida def. Derrick Lewis via unanimous decision (50-44, 50-44, 50-45)
- Nicolas Dalby def. Gabriel Bonfim via TKO (knees and punches) – Round 2, 4:33
- Rodrigo Nascimento def. Don’Tale Mayes via unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28)
- Caio Borralho def. Abus Magomedov via unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28)
- Elves Brener def. Kaynan Kruschewski via knockout (punch) – Round 1, 4:01
- Rinat Fakhretdinov vs. Elizeu Zaleski dos Santos scored a majority draw (29-28, 28-28, 28-28)
- Vitor Petrino def. Modestas Bukauskas via knockout (punch) – Round 2, 1:03
- Angela Hill def. Denise Gomes via unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28)
- Eduarda Moura def. Montserrat Ruiz via TKO (punches) – Round 2, 2:14
- Marc Diakiese def. Kaue Fernandes via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 30-27)