Jailton Almeida dominates Derrick Lewis at UFC Sao Paulo

Jailton Almeida secured a dominant victory against Derrick Lewis in the headline bout of UFC Sao Paulo. "Malhadinho" won by unanimous decision, with judges scoring 50-44, 50-44 and 50-45.

Throughout the 25-minute bout, Almeida gained numerous dominant positions over "The Black Beast" but fell short of securing a finish. He recorded 21 minutes and 10 seconds of control, which set a new UFC heavyweight record, ranking as the fourth longest.

This marked the lengthiest control time in a UFC fight in 16 years, only one minute less than Sean Sherk's 22:18 control time against Hermes Franca in 2007. Despite the control, Almeida didn't cause substantial damage.

"We were able to do that and keep him down and avoid his right hand," said Almeida.

“I was touched, and I didn't really feel it.”

Almeida is undefeated in the UFC. Prior to the fight, he had a 100 percent finish rate. However, Lewis proved a formidable challenge, lowering Almeida's finished rate to 95 percent.

With a record of 20-2, Almeida extended his winning streak to 15 fights, including his first six in the UFC. The Brazilian fighter had finished 14 opponents in a row before his battle with Lewis and had secured three straight fight-night bonuses.

In contrast, Lewis (27-12, 1 NC) is facing a challenging period in his career. Despite holding the most knockouts in UFC history at 14, he has lost five of his last seven fights. His most recent victory was a 33-second TKO over Marcos Rogerio de Lima at UFC 291 in July.

In the post-fight interview, Almeida called out former UFC interim heavyweight champion Ciryl Gane and challenged him to fight in France.

Fight highlights

In the first round, Almeida started with a push kick and secured a takedown. Lewis managed to escape an arm triangle choke but remained under Almeida's control.

Lewis defended, and Almeida continued to press the attack, attempting an armbar and arm triangle. He finished the round strong, throwing strikes in the final 30 seconds through Lewis' resilience.

Round 2 saw Almeida timing a takedown as Lewis attempted a kick. He continued to control Lewis on the ground, occasionally threatening with submission attempts. Following a warning from the referee for inactivity, Almeida landed ground and pound as the round concluded.

In the third round, Lewis opened with a flying knee but couldn't prevent another takedown from Almeida. Lewis briefly got back to his feet and landed some strikes, but Almeida regained top control and mounted his opponent.

The referee issued another warning to Almeida for inactivity, but he maintained control. Lewis attempted to scramble, but Almeida transitioned to side mount. Lewis returned to his feet, and Almeida landed strikes before the round's conclusion.

Both fighters showed respect as they began the final round, after which Lewis moved in and threw an uppercut. Almeida ducked under and went for a single-leg takedown. Lewis managed to defend and clinched with Almeida against the fence. Just over a minute into the round, Almeida finally secured the takedown, finding himself in the top mount position once again.