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Jailton Almeida

(Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC)

Jailton Almeida: An Elite Prospect in Two Divisions

Jailton Almeida
(Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC)

Jailton Almeida: An Elite Prospect in Two Divisions

Jailton Almeida has proven to be an elite UFC prospect in just three fights. That can be said for many fighters, though. What makes Almeida unique is that he is an elite prospect in two divisions.

In his UFC career, he has fought at heavyweight and light heavyweight, along with a 220-pound catchweight bout. Regardless of which weight class he is competing in, he is a problem. At 3-0 in the UFC, Almeida has yet to find any stiff competition.

What weight class is Jailton Almeida in?

As previously mentioned, Almeida has fought at light-heavyweight and heavyweight. His next fight is scheduled for heavyweight as he is booked to fight Shamil Abdurakhimov at UFC 283.

Based on the fact that Abdurakhimov is currently ranked No. 15 at heavyweight, Almeida will likely be focusing on climbing up the heavyweight rankings. With that being said, he could still make the light heavyweight limit if need be.

Even though I anticipate seeing Almeida at heavyweight, he can be tremendous at light heavyweight too. Typically, it is counterproductive to fluctuate divisions, but Almeida can do it due to his rare balance of size and athleticism.

At heavyweight, Almeida will be quicker and more athletic than all of his opponents while having the strength to hang with the big boys. Similarly, at light heavyweight, he will be way stronger than all of his opponents while having the athleticism to strike with quicker fighters.

It does not matter who Almeida fights, he will have some sort of athletic or physical advantage and we have not even discussed his skills yet.

Jailton Almeida’s Skills

Almeida is one of the best grapplers in the higher-weight classes. He has a great double-leg takedown, but once the fight gets to the ground, he is outstanding. His pressure from the top position is suffocating. He accomplishes this with wrist control and tight waists. From there, he lands ground-and-pound, advances positions and lands submissions. This has culminated in two submissions wins and a ground-and-pound finish.

I would love to provide some analysis of Almeida’s striking. That task is nearly impossible though because we have barely seen him strike. The thing is, Almeida has not gotten to the point in his career where striking has been needed. He just ragdolls his opponent on the ground.

What does the future hold

I am going to have my eye on Almeida. I imagine he is going to finish Abdurakhimov at UFC 283 and do so quickly.

Now, that is not really a controversial statement, most people will agree with that opinion. If that holds true, Almeida will be looking at a step up in competition. If he gets that opportunity, he should be able to make good.

Almeida has legit title potential. It can be hard to foresee far enough ahead in the future to see what the top of the heavyweight division will look like when Almeida begins his title chase. I am not going to sit here and pretend I know what the heavyweight division will look like in a year or two either.

I would not be surprised if Almeida struggles to work his way up the rankings. He is not the most popular fighter on the roster so it may take time for him to get a career-altering type of fight. For example, Curtis Blaydes is an elite fighter without much fanfare and he is still waiting for a chance against another elite opponent.

As I said, I do not know exactly what the future holds for Almeida. The only thing that I know for sure is that he is pretty good at MMA and will find himself near the top of the heavyweight rankings eventually. That is, unless he opts to try and conquer the light heavyweight division instead.

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