The Ultimate Fighting Championship returns to Sao Paulo, Brazil this fall for UFC Fight Night 230, going down live from the Ibirapuera Gymnasium on November 4, 2023.
We’ve only got one bout added to the lineup thus far, but it’s a stellar one coming in the heavyweight division between no. 4 ranked Curtis Blaydes (17-4, 1 NC) and no. 9 ranked Jailton Almeida (19-2).
This is such an exciting match up for so many reasons, and it’s certainly on paper the toughest test of Almeida’s career.
Curtis Blaydes has only ever lost to some of the best in the entire sport.
Debuting in the UFC back in 2016 with a record of 5-0, Blaydes would lose his promotional debut to eventual champion Francis Ngannou, before going on a six-fight unbeaten (5-0, 1 NC) streak. The latter three victories showed him victorious over the likes of Alexey Oleinik (TKO), Mark Hunt (UD), and former DREAM & Strikeforce champion Alistair Overeem (TKO).
Blaydes would next lose to Ngannou for a second time before going on another win streak, this time four-straight, finishing up the streak with wins over former UFC champion Junior dos Santos (TKO) and former Bellator & M-1 Global champion Alexander Volkov (UD).
Blaydes was then defeated by Derrick Lewis (KO) in a fight he was dominating up until he was stopped, before he’d defeat Jairzinho Rozenstruik (UD), Chris Daukaus (TKO), and current no. 5 ranked Tom Aspinall (TKO).
This led up to his most recent appearance, where Blaydes was stopped (TKO) by the surging Sergei Pavlovich, who’s currently ranked at no. 2 in the world with a record of 18-1. Pavlovich is also on a six-fight first round knockout streak at the moment.
That’s who Blaydes has lost to, the very best fighters in the world. Derrick Lewis is probably the least skilled talent in his loss column, and even he is a former title challenger with the record for most knockouts in UFC history.
Then we have Jailton Almeida, an absolute assassin in the cage that just recently came into our crosshairs.
Almeida came to the UFC in February of 2022 with a record of 14-2, fresh off his Contender Series victory that previous September, a fight he won via submission (rear naked choke). Over the next 15 months, Almeida went 5-0 with five finishes.
In fact, all 19 of Almeida’s wins come via finish (7 knockout, 12 submission), while Blaydes has 12 knockouts and 5 decisions.
Almeida’s last two outings showed him defeat the likes of Shamil Abdurakhimov (TKO) and Jairzinho Rozenstruik (rear naked choke), two common opponents Blaydes also boasts wins over.
This is a good opportunity for Blaydes to get back on track, and also an incredible opportunity for Almeida to show the world what he’s really capable of. With Blaydes’ collegiate wrestling (national champion, most takedowns in UFC heavyweight history) and Almeida’s elite level grappling (BJJ black belt), not to mention each of their underrated striking games, this is going to be a good one!
Who comes out on top in this epic heavyweight main event going down at UFC Sao Paulo?
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I became a fan of combat sports when I was 12 years old. I was scrolling through the channels and landed upon Versus, where WEC was televised. Urijah Faber fought Jens Pulver for the second time that night. That’s the first fight I ever saw, and I was immediately hooked. So eventually, I began covering the sport in the fourth quarter of 2018, and have since started writing about animals as well. If you’d like to see those pieces, be sure to check out learnaboutnature.com!