When facing Derrick Lewis, who cuts weight to reach the 265-pound heavyweight limit, Jailton Almeida gave up roughly 30 pounds, but the surging Almeida was still able to dominate the knockout artist.
Almeida won the UFC Sao Paulo main event on Saturday night in Brazil by unanimous decision (50-44, 50-44, 50-45). It was a rather dull fight, but it was a one-sided one. Over the course of 25 minutes, Almeida repeatedly took Lewis down and established several dominant positions, but he was unable to complete the play. Nor did Almeida inflict much damage.
According to UFC Stats, Almeida’s control time of 21 minutes, and 10 seconds broke the record for heavyweights in the UFC and ranked fourth overall.
It was the most control time in a UFC bout since Sean Sherk defeated Hermes Franca in 2007. The fight took place in 16 years. The UFC record for control time is 22:18, set by Sherk during that match.
During his eleven-year professional career, Almeida had never lost by decision before. ESPN BET reports that the fight was +1300 to go the distance.
Almeida more than demonstrated that he is a legitimate heavyweight contender in the UFC, but Lewis was the hardest test of his career. Almeida entered the fight ranked No. 10 in the world at heavyweight according to ESPN.
Lewis weighed 265 pounds on Friday at the weigh-in, and it’s likely that he put on weight before fighting on Saturday. On Friday, Almeida weighed 236.
He outmuscled the larger man, but he also displayed excellent wrestling and grappling technique; it was just insufficient to secure a submission or TKO.
After that, Almeida challenged Ciryl Gane, the former interim heavyweight champion of the UFC, and declared he would fight Gane in France.
Almeida (20-2) has triumphed in 15 straight bouts, six of which he won in the UFC. Before Saturday night, the Brazilian-born fighter had defeated 14 opponents in a row. Coming in, Almeida, 32, had won three fight-night bonuses in a row.
In his last seven fights, Lewis (27-12, 1 NC) has suffered five losses. The Houstonian had defeated Marcos Rogerio de Lima via TKO in 33 seconds at UFC 291 in July. The record for the most knockouts in UFC history is held by Lewis, 38, with 14.