UFC Sao Paulo Recap: Jailton Almeida wins decision over Derrick Lewis in lackluster headliner

May 13, 2023; Charlotte, North Carolina, USA; Jailton Almeida (blue gloves) reacts after defeating Jairzinho Rozenstruik (red gloves) in a heavyweight bout during UFC Fight Night at Spectrum Center. Mandatory Credit: Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports

In the main event of UFC Sao Paulo, we saw a battle between two of the most dangerous men in the heavyweight division. Rising superstar Jailton Almeida (19-2) was getting the superstar treatment headlining a show in his home country against “The Black Beast” Derrick Lewis (27-11).

The UFC’s heavyweight knockout king was looking to win his second straight tonight Back in July, Lewis took on Marcos Rogerio De Lima and entered that bout having lost three in a row. Lewis dropped De Lima with a flying knee and would finish him off in just 33 seconds.

Jailton Almeida has looked absolutely sensational since earning a contract on Dana White’s Contender Series. He’s gone a perfect 5-0 and not a single bout saw the final bell. He’s one of the rising stars in the UFC’s heavyweight division and he was looking to defeat the knockout king tonight.

UFC Sao Paulo Recap

Round 1

The UFC Sao Paulo main event kicked off with a touch of the gloves. Almeida immediately on the pressure with a body kick. High kick and a hook lands for Almeida. Almeida immediately shoots for a double leg. Lewis defending well and then Almeida explodes into a double leg.

Side control for Almeida and he immediately moves into the mount. Lewis gives up his back and Almeida immediately starts attacking a choke. Arm triangle attempt from Almeida and it looks deep but Lewis gets out of it. Almeida settles back into the mount. Dominant start for the Brazilian.

Short elbow from Almeida. Lewis rolls and gives up his back. Reversal from Lewis and he gets on top. Lewis starts to stand and Almeida trips him. Almeida immediately back into the mount with two minutes left to work. Almeida again is working for an arm triangle choke here.

One minute left to work and Almeida appears to be getting closer and closer to finishing this choke. Lewis explodes out of the position and there’s 45 seconds left in the round. Nice shots from mount for Almeida. The bell sounds and it’s a dominant opening frame for Almeida, easily a 10-8 at UFC Sao Paulo.

Round 2

Entering the second at UFC Sao Paulo and Derrick Lewis desperately needs to keep this fight standing. Almeida much more measured to start the second round. Lewis lands a big right hand but Almeida immediately gets a takedown and gets to the back of The Black Beast.

Lewis tries getting back up, but Almeida locks in the hooks. Another arm triangle attempt from Almeida but Lewis gets out of it almost immediately. Three minutes left in the round and Almeida settles into the mount. Short elbow from Almeida lands flush on the chin of Lewis.

Lewis explodes and tries to get up but Almeida takes his back. Halfway through the round and once again, it’s all Almeida here. Almeida is trying to attack a rear naked choke with two minutes left in the round. Nothing really happening here over the next minute.

Almeida is still holding the position and attempting a choke. Almeida landing some nice shots and the round comes to a close. Another 10-8 round for Almeida at UFC Sao Paulo.

Round 3

Entering the third and it’s going to take a miracle for Lewis at this point. They touch gloves and here we go. Lewis starts strong looking for big shots. Nice takedown defense from Lewis and he’s trying to throw bombs. Almeida nearly gets clipped with those bombs from Lewis, but he defends well.

Almeida is relentless trying for the takedowns and he gets him down. Immediately in the mount for Almeida. Short elbow from Almeida 90 seconds into the round. Almeida gets the back of Lewis but he slips and Lewis gets on top. Bombs from Derrick Lewis. He’s going all out here but Almeida gets a sweep.

Back on top for Almeida and again he moves to the mount. Nothing happening and Almeida is just holding the mount position here and he’s even being warned by the referee. 90 seconds left and Almeida lands a nice little shot. More right hands land from Almeida and he gets the back of Lewis.

One minute left and Almeida is going for it more here. He gets the back of Lewis and Lewis rolls. Side control now from Almeida and the round is almost over. The bell sounds and it’s still Almeida’s round, but with Lewis’ moments it’s a 10-9 at UFC Sao Paulo.

Round 4

Entering the fourth round and it just feels like the fight might end in this round. They touch gloves and here we go. Almeida is pressuring and Lewis tries to time an uppercut. However, once again Almeida gets the takedown and once again, he’s immediately in the mount. Short shots from Almeida.

Lewis tries to explode to get up but he can only get things back to half guard. Once again, Lewis tries to get back up but now Almeida gets back the mount. Halfway through the round and Almeida is softening up Lewis here with big shots. Almeida gets to the back of Lewis and Lewis just rolls back over.

Lewis tries to get back to his feet, but Almeida just gets right back on his back. 90 seconds left in the round and Almeida is just controlling Lewis from the back. Almeida now in the mount again after Lewis rolls back over. One minute left and there’s not a lot happening here. Short right hand from Almeida and Lewis tries to get back up, but Almeida takes his back.

Almeida is just leaning on him here. Lewis settles on the ground and there’s the ten second warning. The round ends and it’s another dominant round for Almeida at UFC Sao Paulo.

Round 5

Entering the final round and it’s going to take a miracle in the first exchange for Derrick Lewis. They touch gloves and here we go. Lewis opens with a 1-2. Almeida tries to get a takedown, but Lewis is using everything to stay up. He stays on his feet but Almeida just keeps going for the takedown.

He gets the double leg and he’s down. Immediate mount for Almeida and he’s just laying on Lewis now. Immediate warnings from the referee about action. Nothing happening over the next minute and now we are halfway through the final round. A fun opening exchange and now Almeida is just laying on Lewis.

The crowd is letting them hear it with two minutes left. Almeida moves to side control and then back to the mount. 90 seconds left and there’s just nothing going on. One minute left and this is not a very impressive performance in terms of doing damage for Almeida. Lewis gets back to his feet and Almeida immediately takes him right back down.

The fight comes to a close and Almeida is going to win a lopsided decision at UFC Sao Paulo.

Jailton Almeida def. Derrick Lewis by Unanimous Decision (50-44, 50-44, 50-45)

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