Jailton Almeida’s unstoppable momentum remains ever in motion. The Brazilian fighter made quick work of Jairzinho Rozenstruik in the main event of UFC Charlotte, triumphing in less than four minutes after he effectively ground his opponent, shattered his defenses, and secured a devastating rear-naked choke.
It marked his fifth UFC win and his 14th win in a row overall, all via knockout or submission. The question now becomes whether his current accomplishments place him among the elite of the heavyweight division.
While Almeida’s latest victory, he still just falls short of the top 5 on the list, teetering just behind the respected Curtis Blaydes and former interm champ Ciryl Gane. It’s not to suggest that the 32 year old hasn’t made an impressive name for himself; on the contrary, Almeida has aced the eye test each time in remarkable fashion.
It’s not a shortage of talent, rather it’s just that he doesn’t yet boast the in-octagon achievements of fighters who sit above him so the top 5 placement is yet to be realized. That being said, there are some among our panel who are more than satisfied to rank Almeida as one of the greats.
Almeida ranks highly on the list, ranked as #3 by a voter with a further #4 and #5 vote, with the rest of our panel ranking him anywhere from #6 to #10. Thus, there is a much debate as to whether Almeida’s level of competition measures up to someone like Blaydes,. It is quite the head-scratcher how much weight should be allocated to hypothetical scenarios of Almeida facing off against the likes of Blaydes, Gane, Sergei Pavlovich, UFC champ Jon Jones, and free agent Francis Ngannou, but it is a guessing game and based solely on informative conjecture.
It’s highly likely that Almeida could be contending for gold sooner than later, particularly as it pertains to the anticipated fight between Stipe Miocic and Jon Jones, and if either of them intends to stick around beyond 2023. If there’s an open vacancy or vacant interim title bout in the works, there’s no doubt that Almeida will be offered one half of the booking.