Hoping to kick 2018 off with a bang is the electrifying fan favourite, Thomas Almeida. He will take on Rob Font at UFC 220 on January 20th.
In his last outing, Almeida fell short to the 4th ranked Jimmie Rivera and will look to bounce back into title contention when he takes on dangerous striker, Rob Font.
Other than the championship double header, this is arguably the most anticipated fight on the card. It’s the kind of match-up that gets Almeida’s blood pumping.
“He’s a striker, Almeida said. “He has a good boxing background and it’s a good match-up for me because we’re both strikers and I think it’s going to be a good fight for the fans. This is what really matters, a good show for the fans.”
And this will be the 3rd time in Almeida’s career that he kicks off the PPV main card, a coveted spot that he looks to take advantage of.
“This is an honour for me,” Almeida said. “Once again fighting in a huge event and opening the main card on PPV is big exposure for me. I’m very excited for this opportunity that the UFC has given me.”
Stylistically, the match-up versus Font is guaranteed fireworks and Almeida is looking forward to the challenge.
“I think it’s going to be a good fight between two strikers,” Almeida said. “I’m not in a hurry. I have 3 rounds and I want to show everything that I’ve been practising during training. I always go for the knockout because that’s my roots from Muay Thai. All my fans love to watch my fights so I’ll be ready for everything. I always look for the knockout.”
With Font presenting a well-rounded game, Almeida knows he has to watch out for Font’s power. He has broken down his striking game and knows what he has to watch out for.
“His right hand,” Almeida said. “He has very powerful shots, a good straight and some uppercuts and this is something I have to watch out for but I just have to go out there and not expose myself, not get hit.”
Font will have a slight 1.5-inch reach advantage which could play a factor with two fighters looking to stand in the middle and trade. Almeida recently spent some time training at Phuket Top Team and he feels that his time there has helped him make vast improvements in his game.
“He has a longer reach so head movement is very important and using my footwork too,” Almeida explained. “I went to Thailand to train kicks and learn something new. I wanted to improve my striking and train with new people so it helped a lot.”
He was able to train and spar with multiple time Muay Thai kickboxing champion and legend, Lerdsila Chumpairtour, an experience he’ll never forget .
“Lerdsila is a beast, he’s a very good fighter. He has incredible timing and it was a great opportunity training with him. He’s a living legend.”
The goal for Almeida this year is to be more active. He only competed once in 2017 and he hopes that this year, he’ll be able to reach his goals faster. Having his first fight in January, is a great start.
“I want to fight more this year, fight like 3 times this year. I want to keep active and keep fighting the best guys in the division. I want big challenges.”
And he feels a big win over Font is the perfect way to start his climb back up the rankings.
“I have 3 rounds to go in there and put my game plan, strategy and everything I trained. I’m just going to go in there and have fun. I trained a lot on my striking, my jiu-jitsu is very good so I’ll be ready for wherever the fight goes.”