WagerWire Fighter Spotlight: Jailton Almeida (UFC 283)

As part of a new series that I recently started for UFC events at WagerWire, I’ll be writing a feature that shines a spotlight on one fighter for each card who I feel deserves a little bit of extra time in the limelight during their fight week for one reason or another.

Usually, these Fighter Spotlight articles will be found on the WagerWire Community page, however, we had to make an exception for this edition.

For this week’s feature, I will be shining the spotlight on Jailton Almeida, who is scheduled to fight Shamil Abdurakhimov this weekend at UFC 283 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

This will be Almeida’s fourth fight with the promotion, and he will enter the octagon on a 12-fight winning streak overall. Almeida, who is nicknamed “Malhadinho”, has a career record of 17-2 as a professional with a 100% finish rate (six knockouts and eleven submissions).

All seventeen of his finishes have come inside the first two rounds, with thirteen of them coming during the opening round.

Since arriving on the scene in the UFC, Almeida has put together an impressive 3-0 start while flip-flopping between the heavyweight and light heavyweight divisions. His fight this weekend will take place at heavyweight, and according to Almeida, that is the division he intends to focus on for the foreseeable future.

During his impressive start with the promotion, Almeida has finished all three of his opponents in the opening round. He has out struck them by a combined total of 65 strikes to 1 while also having a 6:0 takedown ratio.

According to UFC Stats, Almeida lands 3.56 strikes per minute while only absorbing 0.43 strikes in return during the same timeframe. He also boasts a takedown rate of 7.18 takedowns per 15 minutes and he lands them at 75% accuracy.

Almeida’s goal inside the octagon appears to be working his opponents to the ground as early as possible and immediately work towards setting up finishes via ground and pound or submissions.

As you can see from this career statistical comparison by Nate Latshaw, Almeida will have an absolutely dominant advantage in the takedowns, both offensive and defensively, as well as control rate.

And while his Distance % and Strike Defense might appear low, keep in mind that Almeida is constantly pressuring his opponents as opposed to creating distance and he hasn’t had to defend very many strikes yet in the UFC to display his defensive abilities.

Five of Almeida’s past six victories have come via submission, with four of them coming by rear-naked choke. While a majority of his wins have come via submission, Almeida will often work his ground and pound first before attempting to force his opposition into bad positions to set up his submission attempts.

This weekend at UFC 283 will actually be the third time this matchup has been booked by the promotion, with Abdurakhimov withdrawing the previous two times.

Abdurakhimov is 20-7 as a pro, going 5-5 during his time with the UFC and he is coming off three consecutive knockout losses.

As mentioned in my WagerWire preview for UFC 283, Almeida is currently the biggest betting favorite on this lineup, with his Moneyline hovering between -900 and -1100 depending which sportsbook you are using.

At FanDuel, where the prop markets have started to open, Almeida Inside the Distance is listed at -800 and Fight Does Not Go the Distance is currently at -1600, meaning you really have to dive deep on this one for some solid value.

The best way to approach these situations in my opinion is to look at the method and round props for the fight. As of right now, FanDuel has the following odds listed for Almeida’s victory methods: Submission -150, KO/TKO +200, and Decision +1100.

Abdurakhimov has been stopped in six of his seven losses, so I would be very surprised if Almeida doesn’t get this one down inside the distance.

Although Almeida has stopped a majority of his wins via submission, Abdurakhimov has only been submitted once in his career. However, he has been knocked out in each of his past five losses and also five out seven overall. 

While I still expect Almeida to follow his usual gameplan of working to get the fight on the ground, I’m not sure Abdurakhimov will be able to withstand the ground and pound assault of “Malhadinho” long enough to end up falling into a submission.

Personally, I will be betting on Almeida by KO/TKO, as well as his Round Combos for the same method. Ideally, he lands the knockout in the second round and three bets will cash out at once. A knockout or TKO in one of the other rounds would still cash out two bets.

Almeida has landed six of his seven UFC takedown attempts, while Abdurakhimov has surrendered nine of the seventeen takedown attempts that he has faced during his UFC career.

If Almeida can continue his hot streak and pick up another victory this Saturday, his immediate future with the promotion will only continue to brighten.

With his attention now seeming to be entirely focused on staying at heavyweight, there’s a pretty good chance Jailton Almeida will put the top of the division on notice this weekend with another win.

Check back tomorrow for my UFC 283 Picks and Predictions and keep an eye out this weekend for my betting card for this event!

You can also check out my debut edition of the WagerWire Fighter Spotlight on Mateusz Rebecki from last week.

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