Jailton Almeida vs. Derrick Lewis prediction

A deeper look inside the main event of UFC Sao Paulo, headlined by heavyweights, Jailton Almeida and Derrick Lewis.

Jul 29, 2023; Salt Lake City, Utah, USA; Derrick Lewis (red gloves) reacts to defeating Marcos
Jul 29, 2023; Salt Lake City, Utah, USA; Derrick Lewis (red gloves) reacts to defeating Marcos / Jeff Swinger-USA TODAY Sports

The UFC is coming off of one of its few off weeks for the year and stepping right back into action in Sao Paulo, Brazil. As one might expect, the UFC is offering one of its most loyal fan-bases a card that features a Brazilian in every fight. Brazil is one of the few locations where the seats will be filled from the moment the doors open until the last fight is over.

The prelims offer two contract winners from this season of Dana White's Contender Series a chance to debut in their home country, along with some familiar faces from the region. The main card offers household names such as the Bonfim brothers and Caio Borralho, before culminating with Jailton Almeida in the main event.

Jailton Almeida vs. Derrick Lewis main event prediction

Almeida enters the main event undefeated in the UFC and on a 14-fight win streak that dates back to 2018. To take the feat a step further, all 14 of those wins have come by way of stoppage, with a near-even split between submissions and KO/TKO.

While this will be Almeida's second scheduled five-round main event of 2023, he has never needed more than two rounds during his UFC tenure. Despite having never seen Almeida's cardio in the later rounds, it will likely be a non-issue when he faces off against Derrick Lewis.

Surprisingly, Lewis has been with the UFC since 2014 and has actually fought for the heavyweight title twice. Lewis even has a unanimous decision victory over boxing's new darling, Francis Ngannou. While Lewis has only notched one win in his last four fights, he came into that win looking to be in the best physical shape of his career.

Combine his newfound health success with his one-hitter-quitter power that carries through every round and he will represent Almeida's most dangerous opponent to date, at least in the power department. Lewis does often struggle with his cardio in the later rounds, so it will be interesting to see how he looks at weigh-ins, especially on just about three weeks' notice.

In all likelihood, that show-stopping power is Lewis' only likely path to victory. Almeida should have advantages in cardio, ground work, striking volume, and technique. While no one would be surprised to see this fight end in the first round, Lewis can appear awkward to gauge at first, which may lead to Almeida taking his time before really getting into a groove.

Lewis has only been submitted twice in his UFC career, but he has been in compromised positions on other occasions. With Almeida's balanced ability to finish fights in any way that presents itself, this one likely ends on the ground, despite our desires to hear a Lewis one-liner after a win.

Prediction: Almeida by submission in the second round.

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