UFC heavyweight legend Derrick Lewis will face Jailton Almeida on his home turf in Brazil. This will be the main event of UFC Fight Night 231. Will the “Black Beast” shock the world once more or should he start considering retirement? Here is our Almeida vs Lewis prediction.
UFC Fight Night 231: Almeida vs Lewis Prediction
Jailton Almeida Preview
Jailton is a 32-year-old fighter from Brazil. He began his professional career in 2012. For the first 9 years, Almeida competed exclusively in Latin American promotions, compiled a 13-2 record against mediocre opposition, and became the champion of the Thunder Fight organization in 2021.
Unnoticed by many fans of the heavyweight division, Jailton began to approach the top positions and entered a series of 5 early victories in the UFC. As a super-technical fighter with excellent anthropometry, Almeida easily passed through all the average guys that the promoters put him against.
Jailton has a solid BJJ background like the majority of Brazilian fighters. Almeida has a black belt in this discipline and regularly competes in grappling and jiu-jitsu competitions, where he wins medals and prizes.
On the canvas, Almeida tries to take a dominant position, from where he begins to break his opponent with ground and pound and looks for an opportunity for a submission. He can box but won 60% of his wins via submission.
In the stand-up, the Brazilian demonstrates good Muay Thai skills and throws sharp kicks and accurate and quick combinations with his hands. If necessary, Jailton can be extremely dangerous in the clinch with his elbows and knees.
Almeida is what you call a dark horse. He competed against mediocre opponents, and it is difficult to objectively assess his skills even after his convincing win against Rozenstruik. However, based on the differences in style, we can already envision our Almeida vs Lewis prediction.
Derrick Lewis Preview
Derrick is a 38-year-old fighter from the United States. He made his UFC debut in 2014 against Jack May, whom Lewis knocked out in the 1st round. In total, Derrick fought 27 fights in the UFC: won 18, lost 9.
In 2018, Derrick became the main contender for the title. In November, he tried to challenge Daniel Cormier's belt but was choked out in the 2nd round. After that, Lewis went on a streak of 4 victories in a row, and in August 2021, he fought with Gane for the interim championship. Lewis lost by TKO in the 3rd round.
Probably, even after Lewis’s fight with Ciryl Gane in August 2021, it became clear that the Black Beast would no longer be able to compete with the tops if the fight went beyond the 2nd round. His only chance of winning was an ill-fated amplitude punch or an overhand.
An aggressive start works well against veterans like Rogerio De Lima, but it immediately goes out the window as soon as someone like Spivak, and even more so Pavlovich, comes out against Lewis. And after those recent defeats, you can already feel the direction we are taking with our Almeida vs Lewis prediction.
Derrick is only dangerous because of his knockout power. He has a single submission win in his career and you cannot expect that from him. We doubt that he even trains it that much, honestly. He cannot resist even average wrestlers; he allows himself to be easily taken to the ground and controlled there.
Jailton Almeida vs Derrick Lewis Prediction: Almeida via Submission but not in the 1st round
Here is how we see this fight: Jailton will probably get a pretty quick transfer to the ground. He definitely won't want to tempt fate by waiting for a later stage against the fighter who is the record-holder for the most KOs in the UFC.
After a couple of minutes of fiddling around on the ground and trying to get into position, Jailton will take his back and start doing real damage to his opponent or look for a submission attempt. Bookmakers consider him a clear favorite to win this fight and we absolutely agree with them for our Almeida vs Lewis prediction. However, we are afraid that he still won’t be able to submit Lewis in the 1st round. Derrick will fight back on the ground, even if he loses a lot of strength.
But it’s unlikely that the American will have enough stamina for a 5-round defense. Moreover, in the fight with Spivak, he proved that he is capable of tapping even from the most basic type of submission.
All Jailton has to do is knock his opponent to the ground as quickly as possible and hold him for at least a minute after each transfer. After a couple of such takedowns, Derrick will not have the strength to even move around the octagon, not to mention trying to throw side kicks or risky flying knees.
If Derrick is unable to finish the Brazilian by the end of the 1st round, if he cannot defend against transfers and is passive on the ground, then he will likely suffer a very similar scenario to the fight with Spivak.
• Almeida via Submission
• Almeida to win in Round 2