Jailton Almeida Eyes Ciryl Gane Amidst UFC Heavyweight Chaos Following Dominant Lewis’s Victory

In an unexpected twist of strategy, Jailton Almeida shattered a UFC record for ground control in the heavyweight division, demonstrating a masterclass in grappling prowess during UFC Fight Night 231. Almeida’s tactical shift to a takedown-centric approach kept Derrick Lewis, a formidable two-time title contender, subdued for over 21 minutes in a five-round exhibition that had Sao Paulo fans on the edge of their seats.

Almeida’s ascent to 6-0 in his UFC career marks a departure from his known finishing prowess, with a decision win that halted his impressive streak of 14 finishes and three post-fight bonuses. Facing Lewis on roughly three weeks’ notice, due to Curtis Blaydes’ withdrawal, Almeida employed a wrestling-focused offense that steered the fight clear of Lewis’s feared striking power.

“I promised a spectacle, and did I deliver, or what?” Almeida exclaimed post-fight, having tailored his game plan to neutralize Lewis’s knockout potential within a tight preparation window. His ability to withstand Lewis’s hits without buckling only added to the night’s narrative of his calculated dominance.

Meanwhile, the UFC heavyweight title scene remains in flux. With Jon Jones out of action and an interim title bout between Sergei Pavlovich and Tom Aspinall on the horizon, fighters like Almeida are forced to stay active and assert their presence. Almeida wasted no time in calling out former interim champion Ciryl Gane, proposing a high-stakes showdown in Paris or Salvador, signaling his readiness for the next big challenge.

Gane, coming off a rebound TKO victory in Paris after a submission loss to Jones for the vacant title, finds himself in a pattern of alternating wins and losses. Yet, with the title picture as muddled as ever, a bout with the surging Almeida could clear the path for one of them toward ultimate gold.

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