Since we’re keeping positive coming out of the lacklustre main event, let’s shift that to Jailton Almeida, who is going to get some critical feedback for his lack of killer instinct against Lewis, but will get a win out of this experience in the big picture.
Although it didn’t look great that Almeida (19-2 MMA, 6-0 UFC) spent much of the five-round headliner sitting on Lewis, the fact he went five rounds for the first time is only going to benefit the 32-year-old. He needed this if he wants to truly make a title run, the only downside is, it wasn’t a bout where he was pushed much in terms of pace.
He had to hold down a man nearly 30 pounds heavier than him down round-after-round, though, and that’s not easy. It certainly seemed like he could’ve and should’ve finished Lewis many times, though. He appeared lost when his variety of attacks failed to set up the stoppage, and someone at this level should have a deeper bag of tactics.
Almeida passed over many chances to open up with his ground strikes, which Lewis didn’t seem to like in the few times he took them. It’s not what the fans or UFC brass want to see out of someone who has star and championship potential, so, fair or not, his reputation maybe took a bit of a hit here.
That’s not the worst thing in the world, though, and gives Almeida a chance to build more currency around his name. The original main event for this card with Curtis Blaydes was perfect matchmaking, and many, including myself, want to see that revisited coming out of what we saw with Lewis.
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This story originally appeared on MMA Junkie