Almeida (19-2 MMA, 5-0 UFC) will look to catapult himself to title contention when he meets former title challenger Derrick Lewis (27-11 MMA, 18-9 UFC) in Saturday’s UFC Fight Night 231 headliner at Ginasio Do Ibirapuera in Sao Paulo. The event streams on ESPN+.
“Malhadinho” boasts a 100 percent finish rate, with 12 of his professional wins coming by submission – most recently a first-round rear-naked choke of Jairzinho Rozenstruik in May.
“Almeida is the replica of what Charles Oliveira is at the heavyweight division,” Cejudo said on his YouTube channel. “His jiu-jitsu and top submissions, I mean, he’s an artist at heavyweight. We saw a lot of his submissions, from rear-naked chokes to triangles. I mean, we’re taking about a damn heavyweight here.
“Very crafty off of his back, very crafty up top, and he will slide things in because he knows that’s where his No. 1 strength is. And his finishing ability. All of his wins have come from stoppages. He’s either knocked you out, or he’s submitted you. This dude’s not planning on going five rounds with Derrick Lewis.”
Cejudo also pointed to Almeida’s 14-fight winning streak and the type of confidence it brings him. According to BetMGM, Almeida is a big -470 favorite over Lewis, who is a +350 underdog.
“His movement and his athleticism,” Cejudo continued. “This dude could almost be a damn football player. He can almost be a quarterback, a wide receiver, you call it. The dude has a certain agility that makes him different from a lot of the other heavyweights. And the most important gift of them all, his confidence. He’s a very confident human. He believes in himself.”
For more on the card, visit MMA Junkie’s event hub for UFC Fight Night 231.
This story originally appeared on MMA Junkie