UFC Sao Paulo: Jailton Almeida Outgrapples Derrick Lewis for Five Rounds

Jailton Almeida and Derrick Lewis, UFC Sao Paulo
Jailton Almeida and Derrick Lewis, UFC Sao Paulo weigh-in Credit: Youtube/UFC

The main event of UFC Sao Paulo featured UFC knockout king Derrick Lewis stepping in on short notice to face hot grappling prospect Jailton Almeida.

Ninth-ranked heavyweight Jailton Almeida had home field advantage in Brazil and a full training camp under him but also had a near-30 pound weight disadvantage as a former light-heavyweight. Tenth-ranked Derrick Lewis had seemed to be getting on in years a bit in recent fights but has shown he still has crushing power at age 38. The fight seemed binary on paper: Lewis would look for the knockout and to defend the takedown while Jailton would try to avoid the punches of ‘The Black Beast’ and get a submission on the ground.

Jailton Almeida got the takedown almost immediately and passed to full mount. He did some damage there before switching to the back of Lewis when Derrick turned. Lewis fought the choke, set up his escape, and managed it, only to be taken right back down and stuck in mount again. Almeida held that position for the rest of the first round.

In the second round Almeida timed a level change perfectly when Lewis came in with a wild overhand right and landed the single leg. He transitioned to the back smoothly, displaying his elite top game. Lewis turned and defended and tried to escape but to no avail. Almeida was less aggressive with ground and pound until the very end of the round so he mostly just rode the position until the end of the round.

Almeida’s opening takedown in round three was stuffed as was his follow-up, after an extended sprawl. Lewis then tripped Jailton’s leg out but Jailton just used that to get on a leg and finally get Lewis down. He once again got into full mount and dropped down ground strikes. However Lewis got on top when Jailton fell off while transitioning to the back. Lewis rained down ground strikes while Jailton went for a leg. Almeida worked his way up, got to half guard, got onto the leg again and got back on top. Once on top he easily got to full mount again. This time he did not fall off when going to the back but Lewis rolled back to his back, letting Jailton dominate from side control. The round ended with Lewis standing up while eating big shots, to the point where the bell probably saved him.

Lewis entered the second fourth round of his career down at least 30-27, probably more. Lewis missed an uppercut as Jailton went for a double leg takedown and so the Brazilian landed it. He once again got on top and mauled ‘The Black Beast’ fairly easily. The pattern repeated itself in the fifth round as the fight went the distance, against all predictions.

When the judges scorecards were read it was obviously a clean sweep for Jailton Almeida as he got all five rounds on all three scorecards, with a single 10-8 on two of them, continuing his rapid ascent and undefeated record in the UFC.

Official Result: Jailton Almeida def. Derrick Lewis by Unanimous Decision (50-45, 50-44, 50-44)