This weekend’s UFC Charlotte card is headlined by surging heavyweight prospect, Jailton Almeida, taking his first big step up in competition against ninth ranked knockout artist Jairzinho Rozenstruik.
Almeida has made a splash in the UFC, going 4-0 with four finishes, three in the first round. Since earning his contract with a second-round submission on Dana White’s Contender Series, Almeida has bounced between the heavyweight and light heavyweight division in his four UFC bouts. Almeida appears to currently be focusing on the Heavyweight Division after finding a top 15 ranking next to his name with his last knockout victory over Shamil Abdurakhimov.
This weekend, Almeida will take a large step-up in competition, against world-class kickboxer and heavyweight knockout artist, Rozenstruick. This matchup is a clear sign of the UFC laying a yellow brick road for Almeida to walk his way unscathed to a title shot. Rozenstruick is an explosive and skilled striker with absolutely no ground game. Almeida will take Rozenstruik down early and the fight will never make it back to the feet. After Almeida scores another early finish for his fifth straight UFC fight, he will have a top 10 ranking and be set up for a title eliminator with a top five heavyweight.
Almeida is a 31-year-old in the prime of his athletic career, he has the speed and skill of an elite light heavyweight, and the strength and power of an elite heavyweight. He only weighs in at 230 pounds for the Heavyweight Division, and at 6’3 he certainly does not have too large of a frame to cut back down to 205 pounds. Outside of maybe Khamzat Chimaev, I firmly believe Jailton Almeida has the greatest potential on the roster to be the next UFC double champion.
Unless Jon Jones is going to fight forever, I see no heavyweight stopping Almeida from grabbing the belt within the next two years. From there, the Brazilian would cut back to his chiseled 205 pound frame and set up a super fight with whoever holds the light heavyweight belt at the time.