Las Vegas, NV – Most fighters making their UFC debut have what has come to be called the “Octagon Jitters”. For light heavyweight newcomer Jailton Almeida nervousness wasn’t even a thought heading into his debut on Saturday night at UFC Vegas 47.
“If I told you that I was nervous, I’d be lying. I wasn’t even 1% nervous. You come in to UFC through the Contender Series and there’s such a psychological drop to actually put you through Contender Series all the way to the UFC, it prepares you so much, it’s a natural process. I was not nervous at all, everything that happened led to this,” Almeida said through an interpreter at his post-fight media scrum.
Almeida (15-2) defeated Danilo Marques (11-4) via TKO after putting on a masterful performance that led to many calling him the “Brazilian Khabib”.
“We really wanted to follow a game plan and a strategy but I know one thing that he has somewhat of a weak spot. When he gets hit, he gets rattled. When I saw that he blinked his eye there I actually put out a new strategy during the fight, like impromptu, and I said ‘I’m going for his legs’. When I saw that he blinked it was like I needed to go in there and it worked.”
Following the bout Almeida called out MMA legend and former UFC light heavyweight champion Mauricio ‘Shogun’ Rua.
“It would be a childhood dream. I’ve always had him as an example. I understand that for him it wouldn’t mean as much, but it’s a thing for me. I understand he still has contact with the UFC, but I followed this guy through and throughout his life all ever since PRIDE. And then he became a champion in the UFC. He fought everyone. It would be something for me to be able, it would be an honor, and so gratifying to be able to fight him.”
Watch the full UFC Vegas 47 post-fight press scrum with Jailton Almeida above. More coverage from the event can be found below.