The heavyweight showdown between Curtis Blaydes and Jailton Alemida, originally scheduled for last month, has a new date.
UFC officials recently added the match-up to the official line-up for UFC 299, following an earlier report by MMA Fighting. The fight had been expected to headline UFC Sao Paulo on November 4, 2023 before Blaydes was forced out of the event, replaced by Derrick Lewis.
Blaydes (17-4, 1NC) will enter the fight off a loss against Sergei Pavlovich, a first-round TKO that snapped a three-fight win streak for the wrestler. While one of those three wins had been an early injury TKO against Tom Aspinall, the others had come against dangerous foes in Chris Daukaus and Jair Rozenstruik.
With Curtis Blaydes replaced by Derrick Lewis in Sao Paulo last month, Jailton Almeida (20-2) dominated across five rounds of action, relying heavily on his grappling. The Brazilian heavyweight is undefeated in the UFC to date, after joining the promotion by way of Dana White’s Contender Series in 2021 (making his debut the following year).
Almeida has five finishes among his six UFC wins, and has stopped the likes of Jair Rozenstruik and Parker Porter. He’s ranked #7 in the heavyweight division, and Blaydes #5 per the UFC’s official rankings.
UFC 299 is expected to be headlined by Sean O’Malley vs. Marlon Vera on March 9, 2024. Though not officially announced by the promotion, UFC CEO and President Dana White previously let slip that Miami, Florida was the intended destination. The following fights have been reported for the card:
- Sean O’Malley (c) vs. Marlon Vera — for the UFC bantamweight championship
- Katlyn Chookagian vs. Maycee Barber
- Curtis Blaydes vs. Jailton Almeida
- Mateusz Gamrot vs. Rafael dos Anjos
- Pedro Munhoz vs. Kyler Phillips
- Lauren Murphy vs. Karine Silva
- C.J. Vergara vs. Assu Almabayev