Las Vegas, NV – For UFC light heavyweight Jailton Almeida losing his opponent a month before the fight was not ideal. Luckily for him he gets an opponent at UFC Vegas 55 and a much larger weight allowance as he takes on Parker Porter at heavyweight on Saturday night.
“Just not having to cut the weight and not even worry about the weight is a big thing. I’m a lot happier. Self-esteem is way up there, sleeping well, so there’s a bunch of factors that are very good,” Almeida told reporters through a translator on Wednesday.
Porter (12-6) comes into the fight riding a three-fight win streak in the heavyweight division. Seeing his name as the replacement opponent didn’t bother Almeida at all.
“I was very happy with the name. It’s not something that was within our plans, but thinking about it, it was a good match up. It was a fight that I think I can get a win. It would bring a lot of eyes to me just going from light heavy to heavyweight. I think it’s going to help a lot with my name,” Almeida said.
Almeida (15-2) is coming off his UFC debut where he finished Danilo Marques via TKO in the first round in February.
“I was extremely happy because even with the performance even I wasn’t expecting it to be like that. It was way beyond what I had ordered. I don’t think I’ve been as happy as that in my life. The world could end the last minute and I’d die happy,” Almeida said.
The comparisons to UFC hall of famer Khabib Nurmagomedov rained down on Almedia following his win over Marques.
“I’m a huge fan of Khabib. Not just of what he does in the cage, but his work ethic. You can see all the work he does outside of the cage, and how much work he puts into becoming the person that he became. You don’t get to be 29-0 by accident. You really have to put in the work to get there,” Almeida said.
“In that sense I really do mirror myself a lot with him. I think that if I do my work I can get to that height. End of the day, as much as I’m a fan of his, I’m here for myself. I’m here to prove myself, I need to make people know who Jailton ‘Mahaldinho’ is. It’s good to have someone to look up to, but I’m trying to build my own path.”
Watch the full UFC Vegas 55 media day scrum with Jailton Almeida above. More coverage from the event can be found below. UFC Vegas 55 takes place this Saturday, May 21, 2022 at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas, Nevada.