UFC’s top heavyweight prospect calls out Tai Tuivasa for fight in Brazil, aims for 2024 title shot

Jailton Almeida looks to be the best new talent in the UFC's heavyweight division and he's looking for a quick path to the belt.

By: Lucas Rezende | 4 weeks ago
UFC’s top heavyweight prospect calls out Tai Tuivasa for fight in Brazil, aims for 2024 title shot
May 13, 2023, Charlotte, NC, North Carolina, USA: CHARLOTTE, NORTH CAROLINA - May 13: Jailton Almeida celebrates his win over Jairzinho Rozenstruik via submission rear naked choke at UFC Fight Night: Rozenstruik vs Almeida on May 13th, 2023 at Spectrum Center in Charlotte, North Carolina, United States. Charlotte, NC USA - ZUMAp175 20230513_zsa_p175_189 Copyright: xMattxDaviesx

The hustle never stops rising heavyweight contender Jailton Almeida. Having just defeated Jairzinho Rozenstruik at UFC on ABC 4 with a dominant one-round performance—in which ‘Malhadinho’ picked up the third rear-naked choke victory of his Octagon career—the Brazilian is already making plans for the near future. If those go well, he just might find himself with bigger plans for next year, too.

In an interview with Combate, Almeida revealed who he would like to take on in his next outing, given he suffered little to no damage against Rozenstruik. Since he wants to keep on climbing the rankings, the 31-year-old mentioned another knockout artist in Tai Tuivasa, claiming they could either in Brazil or where ‘Bam Bam’ trains, in the United Arab Emirates.

“UFC Abu Dhabi or UFC Brazil. The opponent: Tai Tuivasa. He gets to pick the place. It can be Brazil, my home, or Abu Dhabi, which is where he has his training camps. That’s what I learned. We could make that effort to face him.”

A UFC title shot in 2024 is the plan for Almeida

The win over Rozenstruik marked Jailton Almeida’s fifth finish in the Octagon, having not gone the distance in his UFC career yet. Almeida could not be happier about the path he has traced in the promotion so far, claiming his intention is to always deliver an exciting performance.

“I feel happy. This moment is a consequence of the excellent work I’ve been doing. I’ve been on this road for 11 years, going through all the highs and lows. When I go up on that stage, I’m there to put on a show. I delivered another show.”

Having defeated a top 10 name in his last fight, the Brazilian hopes to finish the year closer to the division’s top 5 with at least one more booking before the year ends. Should everything go according to plan, Almeida hopes to be fighting for the belt as soon as 2024.

“I’m humbly climbing the ladder of my division. I’m in the top 10 right now, but I want to finish the year in the number seven or six spot. Who knows, maybe next year we can even go after that title I’ve been dreaming of. I will prepare myself for that.”

Jailton Almeida is on a 14-fight win streak

Undefeated in the Octagon, Jailton Almeida (19-2) is on a five-fight winning streak in the UFC—with stoppage wins over all of his opponents, Shamil Abdurakhimov, Anton Turkalj, Parker Porter, Danilo Marques and the aforementioned Rozenstruik. In the Contender Series bout that earned Malhadinho a UFC contract, he scored a submission win by way of rear-naked choke, against Nasrudin Nasrudinov.

Overall, Almeida is riding a 14-fight winning streak, with nine more victories prior to his UFC stint. The 31-year-old has not lost a fight since January 2018, when he dropped a unanimous decision to Bruno Assis at Shooto Brasil 80.

Meanwhile, Tai Tuivasa (14-5) has yet to step into the cage so far this year. Currently, Bam Bam is on a two-fight losing skid, with knockout losses to Sergei Pavlovich and Ciryl Gane, respectively in December and September 2022. Before that, the 30-year-old was on a five-fight winning streak, all of them knockouts, which included victories over notable names such as Derrick Lewis, Stefan Struve and Augusto Sakai. His most recent win came against the ‘Black Beast’, in February 2022.

You know you can count on us for quick, consistent quality UFC coverage. Bloody Elbow is an independent, reader supported publication. Please subscribe to our newsletter to keep up with our best work and learn how you can support the site.

Bloody Elbow Archives

Join the new Bloody Elbow

Subscribe to our Substack!

Share this story

About the author
Lucas Rezende
Lucas Rezende

Lucas Rezende is a Brazilian journalist and writer from Belem, Para. He has been covering MMA since 2012 and contributing with Bloody Elbow since March 2015. When not writing, Lucas also teaches English. In his free time, he enjoys reading, slapping the bass guitar and traveling.

More from the author

Related Stories