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Friday, June 21, 2024

Jailton Almeida unhappy he missed Tom Aspinall interim title shot

Jailton Almeida can’t assist however consider the what-ifs now that the UFC heavyweight title image is taking kind for the second half of 2024.

Almeida (19-3 MMA, 6-1 UFC) returns to the octagon UFC 302 on June 1 when he takes on Alexandr Romanov (17-2 MMA, 6-2 UFC) in a predominant card bout at Prudential Heart in Newark, N.J. (pay-per-view, ESPN2, ESPN+). The Brazilian will try to get again on monitor following his first octagon defeat, which got here towards Curtis Blaydes at UFC 299 in March.

With heavyweight champion Jon Jones recovering from damage and anticipated to return vs. Stipe Miocic on Nov. 9 in New York, interim champion Tom Aspinall has been booked to defend towards Blaydes at UFC 304 on June 27 in Manchester, England.

That will’ve seemingly been Almeida’s spot had he beat Blaydes, and he admits it makes the end result all of the extra painful.

“I felt a bit stunned and unhappy,” Almeida advised MMA Junkie by way of an interpreter. “I positively felt this was my nice alternative to battle towards Aspinall. Sadly, it didn’t occur. It left me with a foul style in my mouth. As soon as I realized it wasn’t going to be towards me, I knew I missed my probability. However I additionally know God’s timing is ideal, and I’ll have my probability sooner or later.”

Almeida’s disappointment is comprehensible. After beginning his UFC tenure with seven straight wins and 6 finishes, he obtained an enormous alternative towards a perennial contender in Blaydes. Almeida, 32, got here out on hearth, touchdown 9 takedowns and controlling Blaydes for all however 21 seconds of the five-minute opening spherical, per UFC Stats.

Blaydes discovered a solution within the second spherical, although, as a result of he stuffed Almeida’s first takedown try after which landed a slew of hammerfists for the knockout.

It was an essential lesson for Almeida, he mentioned, however one he thinks he’s now totally realized. That’s why, in his thoughts, what occurred with Blaydes isn’t a real defeat.

“I don’t actually contemplate it a loss, regardless that it’s a loss on paper,” Almeida mentioned. “That’s what I believe. I do imagine I wanted a greater technique. I felt I had a great battle. I used to be in a position to get in large hits, however I do imagine my technique generally needed to change. A real champion must lose to have the ability to adapt and get higher. I’m solely taking this loss to have the ability to enhance.

“I believe I did a extremely good battle. I hit him quite a bit with lots of lefts. The start of the battle was just about excellent, however proper on the finish, I felt like I used to be a bit extra precipitated. I ought to’ve been extra cautious. I used to be overexcited in regards to the momentum. I felt I ought to’ve been extra affected person. I simply went all-in, and I ought to waited extra.”

Almeida, No. 10 within the newest USA TODAY Sports activities/MMA Junkie heavyweight rankings, may have the possibility to indicate his enhancements towards No. 14-ranked Romanov at UFC 304. Romanov has landed at the least one takedown towards six of his seven UFC opponents up to now, and may very well be a risk to Almeida’s grappling.

The main target going into battle evening isn’t a lot on the opponent, although. Almeida is decided to beat his setback and get by way of Romanov to place himself again on monitor to get marquee alternatives within the division.

“After the loss I really feel robust, I really feel blissful, I really feel assured,” Almeida mentioned. “I’ve actually taken the time to know my faults. So I really feel stronger than ever. Particularly after the Curtis vs. Aspinall battle was introduced, that is serving as an additional motivation for me as a result of I wish to battle Aspinall sooner or later, and I additionally wish to come again and battle with Curtis as soon as once more. I’m on the lookout for revenge, and I do know step one is to have a victory on June 1.”

For extra on the cardboard, go to MMA Junkie’s occasion hub for UFC 302.

You should definitely go to the MMA Junkie Instagram web page and YouTube channel to debate this and extra content material with followers of blended martial arts.

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