Budding Brazilian star Jailton Almeida took on the toughest test of his career when he faced Shamil Abdurakhimov at UFC 283 in Rio, Brazil on Saturday night.
Jailton has been undefeated in his UFC run so far with three wins and three finishes. He began at light heavyweight but has since moved up to heavyweight, which is where he faces fifteenth ranked Abdurakhimov. Shamil once headlined against Derrick Lewis, but as he has advanced in age he has fallen on harder times, losing his last three by finish. This makes him a perfect challenge for the much smaller Almeida, who weighed in a full thirty pounds lighter than his Dagestani foe but has a ten year advantage in youth.
Jailton got hit with a big right hand out of the gate but bounced back to dive for a double leg. He lifted Abdurakhimov up in the air and slammed him down, but Shamil was able to get back up quickly. They stayed in the clinch and Almeida was able to use his lower body to trip the Dagestani and then got on top. Shamil refused to be dominated as easily on the mat as Almeida’s other opponents. Jailton passed to full mount at one point but then Shamil was able to twist and push him off.
Still, the fluid grappling of the Brazilian allowed him to take the back off of losing the mount. Abdurakhimov threatened to turn into him so Almeida swivelled back to top position and then got full mount again after some time spent in half guard. Shamil was able to survive and escape to half guard when he was mounted, but was not able to get back to his feet. With one minute left Jailton secured mount again and this time postured up to land King Kong style hammerfists. The round ended with Almeida dropping alternating cutting elbows and bludgeoning hammerfists.
The second round opened with Jailton throwing leg kicks and pressuring. Still, only about ten seconds passed before Almeida shot on a low double leg, got Abdurakhimov off balance, and threw him to the floor.
The thirty pound weight difference was not showing. If anything, the speed and fluidity from being the lighter man was an advantage for Almeida. One minute into the round Shamil turned to his stomach to try to escape but Jailton hit him with punches and Abdurakhimov could only cover up. Almeida rode his back until Shamil turned over again in response to the referee imploring him to fight back. At that point Jailton just rolled with him, always staying one step ahead. Almeida got Abdurakhimov belly-down and flattened him out just after the halfway point and only a few more strikes were needed as the referee saw how demoralized Shamil was and stopped the fight.
Official Result: Jailton Almeida def. Shamil Abdurakhimov by TKO (ground and pound), Round 2, 2:56