Jailton Almeida feels a win over Derrick Lewis this weekend will propel him into the heavyweight title picture.
Almeida will look to remain unbeaten in the UFC Octagon this weekend in his first career UFC headliner on Saturday in São Paulo. He has passed each of his five previous UFC tests and is looking to extend his 14-fight win streak and inch closer to a potential title shot.
Almeida’s heavyweight headliner comes at a time of uncertainty at the top of the UFC’s heavyweight division. UFC Heavyweight Champion Jon Jones was supposed to face Stipe Miocic at UFC 295 before suffering an injury that scrapped the fight.
An interim title fight between Tom Aspinall and Sergei Pavlovich will fill the void at UFC 295. But, Almeida feels he can alter the UFC’s plans with another signature performance this weekend.
Jailton Almeida: UFC 295 Shakeups Open The Doors At Heavyweight
In a recent interview with TMZ Sports, Almeida shared his expectations for his place in the heavyweight division with a win over Lewis.
“He’s ranked No. 10 in the division,” Almeida said. “I think with a win, I’ll be in the Top 4, Top 5 in the division… who knows? Maybe I’ll even fight for an interim title. Anything can happen.”
Almeida was then asked about Jones vs. Miocic falling off of UFC 295, and whether or not that impacts his place in the title picture.
“There’s going to be a lot of opportunities for people to fight for the title,” Almeida explained. “Obviously [Jon Jones and Stipe Miocic] aren’t fighting anymore, so this opens things up for contenders to move up the rankings and fight for titles.”
Almeida earned a UFC contract by submitting Nasrudin Nasrudinov on Dana White’s Contender Series in 2021. He is 5-0 in the Octagon with recent finishes of Jairzinho Rosenstruik and Shamil Abdurakhimov.
Almeida has the chance to etch himself into the heavyweight title picture with a win this weekend. The recent drama at the top of the division opens up opportunities for surging contenders like Almeida to get a fast track to a title shot.
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