Almeida defeated Luis by unanimous decision (50-44, 50-44, 50-45) in the main event of UFC Sao Paulo on Saturday night in Brazil. It was a one-sided fight, albeit somewhat underwhelming. Almeida Luis took time off and was in many dominant positions for more than 25 minutes, but he could not finish. Almeida didn’t do a ton of damage.
Almeida’s control time of 21 minutes, 10 seconds set a UFC heavyweight record and was fourth overall according to UFC statistics. It was the longest period of control in a UFC fight in 16 years since Shawn Sherk against Hermes Franca in 2007. Sherk’s 22:18 control time in that fight is the all-time UFC record.
Almeida had never gone by decision before in his 11-year professional career. According to ESPN BET, the distance fight was +1300.
“We were able to do that and keep him down and avoid his right hand,” Almeida said through an interpreter in his post-fight interview. “I was touched and I didn’t really feel it.”
Lewis represented the toughest test yet for Almeida, who has proven himself to be a bona fide UFC heavyweight contender. Coming up, ESPN ranked Almeida at no. 10 in the world at heavyweight.
Lewis weighed in at 265 pounds at Friday’s weigh-in and likely gained weight before entering the Octagon on Saturday. Almeida weighed 236 on Friday. He overpowered the big guy, but he also had plenty of technique in his wrestling and striking — just not enough to earn submissions or TKOs.
Later, Almeida called out the former interim UFC heavyweight champion Cyril Gann And said he would fight in Gann’s home country of France.
Almeida (20-2) has won 15 straight fights, including his first six in the UFC. The Brazilian-born fighter had finished 14 opponents in a row before Saturday night. Almeida, 32, won three straight fight-night bonuses.
Lewis (27-12, 1 NC) has lost five of his past seven fights. The Houston native was coming off a 33-second TKO over Marcos Rogerio de Lima at UFC 291 in July. Lewis, 38, owns the record for most knockouts in UFC history (14).