CHARLOTTE, North Carolina — Jailton Almeida still has a long way to reach the top of the heavyweight division, but it certainly appears he’ll be a force to reckon with for many years to come.
Almeida (19-2) made quick work of Jairzinho Rozenstruik at UFC Fight Night on Saturday, submitting the UFC veteran via rear-naked choke at 3:43 of the opening round inside Spectrum Center. It was Almeida’s first appearance in a UFC main event and just his third at heavyweight. He also has competed at the 205-pound light heavyweight limit.
The 31-year-old Brazilian made it look easy against Rozenstruik, as he took him down with a double leg less than a minute into the fight and casually advanced his position. Rozenstruik (13-5), who had said all week that he wasn’t excited by the matchup and wanted a higher-ranked opponent, looked completely out of sorts on the floor and eventually tapped to Almeida’s fifth finish in the UFC.
“At one point he got to defend [the choke] but I got to readjust,” Almeida said through an interpreter. “When I come with pressure, no one can stop me.”
Not only has no one been able to stop Almeida’s pressure on the ground, his opponents haven’t even come close. Almeida has now finished all five opponents he has faced in the UFC, with four inside the first round. Saturday’s finish was the quickest so far.
Almeida was already ranked No. 12 going into the weekend. He mentioned a potential next fight against Tai Tuivasa, perhaps in Abu Dhabi or Brazil. Tuivasa does not currently have a fight booked.
Rozenstruik, 35, drops to 3-5 in his past eight bouts. He exploded onto the scene in 2019 with four consecutive knockouts but has struggled to reclaim that consistency since.