UFC 299 Featured Prelim Preview: Jailton Almeida – Curtis Blaydes

Saturday night in the featured prelim of UFC 299, we are going to see a massive fight in the heavyweight division. Top five contenders will battle it out as Jailton Almeida (20-2) looks to continue his dominance as he takes on longtime top contender Curtis “Razor” Blaydes (17-4).

These two were originally supposed to headline the UFC’s Fight Night in Brazil back in November, but a Blaydes to injury forced him out of the matchup. In his place, Derrick Lewis stepped in to face Almeida. It was an underwhelming fight, but Almeida dominated with his grappling over the course of five rounds.

That win was Almeida’s sixth straight win to start his UFC career after earning a contract on The Contender Series. Lewis was the first man to go the distance with Almeida since 2018. Inside the octagon, Almeida had previously only seen a second round once.

On Saturday, he’ll face his toughest challenge in Curtis Blaydes. Blaydes will be looking to bounce back after a tough loss in his last fight. The last time we saw him was just about a year ago when he was knocked out by Sergei Pavlovich in the first round of their fight. Prior to that, Blaydes had won three straight.

One of those wins was an injury TKO win over current interim champ Tom Aspinall. Blaydes is hoping to make a statement at UFC 299 that makes him an appealing matchup for the interim champion considering he technically holds a win over him.

UFC 299 Prediction

Thus far inside the octagon, Jailton Almeida has completely dominated his opponents with his grappling. However, Curtis Blaydes is arguably the best wrestler in the heavyweight division which makes this fight very interesting. Blaydes also has incredible power in his hands which Chris Daukaus found out personally back in 2022.

Almeida is going to be tested in ways he’s never been tested before and that’s why the betting lines have shifted so much for this fight. Originally, Almeida was a decent favorite and as of this morning, the odds are completely even for both men at UFC 299.

Blaydes has become a very popular pick due to his ability to cancel out Almeida’s grappling and given the fact that we haven’t seen Almeida strike for a considerable amount of time. So, the pick should be Blaydes right? Actually, I’m going to go with Almeida here for a couple of reason.

I think Almeida is going to have the grappling and speed advantage which are really going to play here. I also think he’s going to surprise a lot of people with his striking. The ability to beat Blaydes to the punch is going to be huge here. For those reasons, I like him in this matchup.

However, if he finds himself on his back at UFC 299, it’s going to be a long night for him with Razor Blaydes. I just don’t think he’ll have to deal with it.

Prediction: Jailton Almeida by Decision

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