Jailton Almeida spent nearly 25 minutes in a dominant position on top of Derrick Lewis in the UFC Sao Paulo main event but ultimately had to settle for a unanimous decision win after five grueling rounds.
From the first second in the fight until the very last, Almeida didn’t disguise his game plan as he consistently shot inside for the takedown and then worked to advance his position on the ground, Despite sitting in the mount or side control for a huge majority of the fight, Almeida opted for control time over inflicting maximum damage but it was still more than enough to walk away with the victory.
When it was over the judges scored the fight 50-44, 50-44 and 50-45 with Almeida remaining undefeated in his UFC career.
“Remember that yesterday he wanted a brawl and I said it would be a show,” Almeida shouted to the Sao Paulo audience. “Did I give you guys a show or what? We knew that he has a heavy hand. We were able to do that and keep him down.”
Knowing that Lewis would be looking for the knockout, Almeida wasted no time pressuring forward early in the opening round and then diving for the legs to secure the takedown. Almeida nearly secured an arm triangle choke but Lewis continued to scramble and squirm to eventually avoid the position.
There were rare moments when Lewis managed to explode off the bottom, which forced Almeida to approach “The Black Beast” with caution as he looked to drag the fight back to the ground. Lewis tried his best to land a bomb whenever he had a second to breathe but Almeida inevitably found a way to bring him back down to the canvas.
After the second round expired, Almeida didn’t even really force his way into submission attempts but instead opted to stay on top of Lewis to ensure he didn’t lose the position. Even referee Marc Goddard warned Almeida to keep busy as he would often maintain top control but didn’t rain down many punches with Lewis stuck under him.
It wasn’t until late in the fight when Almeida started to uncork some heavier punches but that was also when Lewis finally got back to his feet in a final attempt to try for the comeback. It was short lived success, however, as Almeida inevitably got Lewis back down again until the final horn sounded.
The win moves Almeida to 6-0 in the UFC while also going to decision for the first time in his entire career. Following the victory, Almeida already had a name in mind for his next fight after a suffocating performance against Lewis on Saturday.
“I want Ciryl Gane,” Almeida said. :I’ll fight in Paris. We can do it in [Brazil], wherever. Let’s do it Ciryl Gane.”