Table of Contents
Hello, boys and girls. It is Thursday once again, which means it’s time for another edition of the Brazil Beat. You know, the weekly roundup of all the news in the Brazilian fighting community, all conveniently put together in one place by yours truly.
This week, we’ve got UFC heavyweight contender Jailton Almeida dreaming of one day sharing the Octagon with Jon Jones, welterweight Vicente Luque willing to take on one of his teammates, John Lineker’s plans for the future and much, much more. So let’s dive right!
Jailton Almeida dreams of being Jon Jones’ UFC fallback
UFC heavyweight contender Jailton Almeida has big aspirations for November. Although ‘Malhadinho’ is scheduled to take on Curtis Blaydes in Sao Paulo on November 4, the Brazilian is also making himself available to fight again one week after that.
In fact, Almeida is willing to be the backup man for not just any match, but for the heavyweight title fight between Jon Jones and ex-UFC champ Stipe Miocic, on November 11, at UFC 295. In an interview with Ag Fight (translated by Bloody Elbow), ‘Malhadinho’ explains that fighting ‘Bones’ is one of his dreams, so he would even do it on a week’s notice, it seems.
“I’ll be really ready for November 4, at UFC Sao Paulo. After each step we climb, we’re trying to get closer to achieving our goals. In 2024, who knows. I hope everything goes well for Jon Jones and Miocic, but if there’s a spot for me there, like for a backup, I’ll be waiting for it so that war can happen and I can make my dream of fighting Jon Jones (in the UFC) come true.
To be honest, I’d be much more interested in a fight between Jon Jones and Almeida than the Miocic one. However, I’d also want both men to be properly prepared. It seems risky to put a UFC heavyweight contender like Malhadinho against Jones on almost no notice and with a scheduled fight a week prior, which is why he’s probably not getting his wish granted.
Vicente Luque ready to take on his own teammate
Moving on from Jon Jones and the UFC heavyweight division, let’s take a look at an interesting development at welterweight.
Having just defeated former lightweight champion Rafael dos Anjos, contender Vicene Luque wants to waste no time getting back in the Octagon to climb the rankings. In fact, he is even willing to take on a hot prospect who just happens to be his own teammate if it will help the ‘Silent Assassin’ get to the top faster.
In an interview with Super Lutas (translated by Bloody Elbow), the Brazilian said he would have no problem taking own his training partner Shavkat Rakhmonov. Although Luque disclaimed that the ‘Nomad’ would not be his first choice, he would still face his teammate if need he had to.
“Rakhmonov is very good. I’ve trained with him a lot before. He has that Russian style, that sambo. He has good wrestling and striking. Very technical. He knows how to use the distance. He was tested in his last fight, against Geoff Neal. He has a lot to show. He’s a big talent in the future of the division. I’d fight him. I have no problem with that. We’re on the same team, we train together. If there’s no one else, he’s a great name. He could boost me up. We’re on the same team, so he wouldn’t be my first choice.”
At the end of the day, this is an individual sport. If you guy train together and are in the same division, you’ll have to deal with that possibility. I understand when fighters prefer not to face their training partners, but I also enjoy seeing athletes who don’t mind doing so. As long as they put on a good fight, that is.
Larissa Pacheco puts weight issues in the past
Getting out of the UFC, let’s take a look at the other promotions, because there are some big fights going on this weekend. Namely, the 2022 Professional Fighters League women’s lightweight champion is performing again.
Yes, now a contender in this year’s featherweight tournament, Larissa Pacheco is looking to become a double champion in 2023, but first she needs to go through Olena Kolesnyk in the semifinals, at PFL 8, on August 18.
In an interview with Combate (translated by Bloody Elbow), Pacheco explained how she feels better about her status in 2023 as opposed to 2022, when she felt undermined due to her previous losses to Kayla Harrison. Now, the Brazilian says her biggest challenge has been the weight class change. Fortunately for Pacheco, she claims that adapation is becoming easier with each training camp.
“Last year was tough for me. So many fights, one after the other and that fight against Kayla was always on my mind. There was that pressure wasn’t even on me as much as it was on her. This year is different. I’m the biggest favorite to win the tournament this year. In the past, people didn’t expect much of me. I was kind of forgotten, but now everyone’s looking at me. That’s great.”
“I think my year is going pretty well so far.” Pacheco said. “The worst part was changing divisions. I was already used to fighting at lightweight. I was cutting weight really well. Then this new weight class comes along and it’s just a few pounds less, but they make a difference. It’s always bad. That’s the only bad part of this year. I’m getting used to it now, though. I really felt the weight cut in the first fight, I recovered awfully. The second one was very different, I was able to recover my weight fast and I was feeling strong the next day.”
Larissa Pacheco is a beast, right? With Harrison out of the picture, it’s going to be hard for any other woman to take this belt from her. If she is not even struggling with the weight cut anymore, it’s going to be a massive upset if anyone can stop her from winning this tournament.
John Lineker wants to stay active
Meanwhile, at ONE Championship, John Lineker does not want to sit out for too long after his win over Jae Woong Kim.
Having just bounced back from his loss to Fabricio Andrade, the Brazilian would very much like a do-over against his fellow countryman, but it seems he will have to wait a little longer to have his wish granted. Nonetheless, ‘Hands of Stone’ is not interested in playing the waiting game and wishes to stay active in order to be best version of himself when the time comes to fight for the title again.
In an interview with Combate, Lineker explained what went through his mind during his fight against Kim last week and revealed what his intentions for the future are.
“I was very surprised, especially when he took me down. At no point did I think he would do that. I thought he was going to box me from a long distance and he ended up surprising me with the takedown. I had to stay calm and use my jiu-jitsu to the fullest. He’s pretty tough on the ground, but I just riding it out until the end of the round. He went for the arm-triangle, but I defended it and then I started to relax again. We went to the second round, but I didn’t explode until the third. I didn’t want to leave it in the hands of the judges.”
“I’ve already asked my manager to go after that for me. My intention is to fight again as soon as possible so I can stay active. I heard that Fabricio is having a kickboxing fight, so it’ll take even longer for to fight for the title again, but I want to stay active. My manager is working on it so I can fight soon. We’re negotiating.”
Lineker is as exciting as you can get in the lower weight classes, I do think ONE would be very interested in putting him in the big fights, so he shouldn’t be too worried. I also do think he could be collecting more money in the meantime while Andrade does some kickboxing. Overall, not a bad situation for the little banger.
ONE champions are fighting for vacant kickboxing belt
While we are talking about ONE Championship, we’ve got another Brazilian in a big fight in October. As John Lineker already spoiled it, it’s the promotion’s current bantamweight champion: Fabricio Andrade.
Yes, while Lineker will have to wait for his rematch against Andrade in MMA, the champion will be fighting for the vacant bantamweight kickboxing title against Jonathan Haggerty, who currently holds the promotion’s muay thai line.
It’s a big moment in Andrade’s career, who told Ag Fight he actually started out as a kickboxer before taking MMA more seriously. The opportunity to make history in two different sports sounds like motivation enough for the Brazilian to make the move.
“Before I fully dedicated myself to MMA and before I signed my contract with ONE, I had a kickboxing contract. I signed it at the time because I was interested in that. It ended up not happening, because I dedicated myself to MMA more. Now this opportunity came along. Becoming a kickboxing champion is something that hasn’t happened in my career yet. I have a chance to do something nobody has ever done before. Becoming the first athlete to become both an MMA and kickboxing champion. That’s my biggest motivator ahead of this fight.”
This sounds fun. At least ONE tries new things.
Leandro Higo wants Conor McGregor’s teammate
Meanwhile at Bellator, there’s a Brazilian looking to score a fight against an Irishman.
Brazilian jiu-jitsu blackbelt Leandro Higo has already expressed his desire to take on James Gallagher since his submission win last week at Bellator 298. In fact, the pair have been booked to face each other ealier this year, but the Irishman pulled out of the fight due to unknown reasons.
In an interview with Globo Esporte, Higo explained he would like to take on Gallagher in Dublin, Ireland and is even willing to move up a weigh class in order to make it happen. Though the eagerness to have the fight may sound like bad blood, the Brazilian guarantees there is no such thing.
Quite the opposite, Higo says he has nothing against Gallagher personally, but thinks taking on a popular athlete in his home country could make things interesting for himself.
“I’m a frontline guy in Bellator. I’ll fight anyone. I’ve only fought tough guys in the promotion, I never took the easy route. I’m always facing the top guys. Now I want a higher-ranked guy. In fact, I’ve asked for James Gallagher in the post-fight conference. I asked to fight him in September, in his home, Dublin. He went up a weight class, but I’ll fight him there. I have no rivalry with him, but it’s a fight that should’ve happened a couple of times and never did. He’s a big name in Bellator, he’s an idol in his country, so I asked for this fight. It’s nothing personal, but it would be an interesting fight.”
Gallagher also fought and won on the same night as Higo’s last outing, so Bellator might as well take advantage of the Brazilian’s eagerness to move up a division and go to Dublin, right?
A Brazilian Beat
Tecnobrega is a musical genre that blew up in the northern region of Brazil, which is where I come from, during the 2000’s. It mixes a bunch of different genres such as electronic music, calypso and pop.
With the Amazon rainforest being mostly located within the region, it’s no wonder that native Brazilian sounds are so celebrated and integrated into the music, with tecnobrega borrowing much from those styles, such as carimbo, in order to make its unique sound when combined with all the aforementioned ones.
It’s a seriously creative type of music, created mostly for dancing, but that has become a part of our identity, especially in my homestate of Para, with so many artists representing the genre coming from there.
The one I’m choosing to represent tecnobrega today is a personal favorite of mine, Edilson Moreno. The song I picked is also relevant as its lyrics celebrate the culture of the northern region. Also, it has one of the catchiest choruses I’ve ever heard and it’s honestly a classic at least in Para as I can’t speak for the other states.
So I hope you like it! Make some room for dancing and play: Lamazon, by Edilson Moreno at full volume.
That’s all for this week, folks. See you next time. Stay safe.
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.
Join the new Bloody Elbow
Our Substack is where we feature the work of writers like Zach Arnold, John Nash and Karim Zidan. We’re fighting for the sport, the fighters and the fans. Please help us by subscribing today.
About the author