News and Videos
After first career loss, UFC Fight Night 100 winner Thomas Almeida debuts new, 'more cautious' style
SAO PAULO – Another day, another bonus-winning finish for 25-year-old bantamweight Thomas Almeida.
After bouncing back from his sole career setback with a second-round TKO over Albert Morales (6-1-1 MMA, 0-1-1 UFC) at Saturday’s UFC Fight Night 100, Almeida (21-1 MMA, 5-1 UFC) now holds a 20-finish record – including five post-fight UFC bonuses – that represents his aggressive striking style.
Although victorious more often than not, Almeida’s aggression has also been known to land him in some tough spots during fights – more recently, the one that resulted in a quick knockout loss to Cody Garbrandt back in May.
Which is why he’s been making some adjustments.
“This is a new style,” Almeida told reporters at the post-fight press conference. “I get to be more cautious, not expose myself too much, find the gaps and whenever I feel comfortable, be the Thomas I’ve always been, aggressive and looking for the win at all times.”
The bantamweight bout was the co-main event of Saturday’s UFC Fight Night 100 event at Ibirapuera Gymnasium in Sao Paulo. It aired on FS1 following early prelims on UFC Fight Pass.
Against Morales, Almeida saw himself in a tough position. Not only was he coming back from a setback from the first time in his career, the Sao Paulo native was tasked with doing so in front of his home crowd, as a co-headliner, against a fresh face in the promotion.
On his end, Almeida says he took the low-payoff, high risk scenario as any other scrap. But admits there was some extra weight carried into the octagon.
“I think there’s pressure for every fight, I never want to lose,” Almeida said. “I can’t say how much weight (there was), but there was some weight. I’m very happy, very relieved I was able to represent my city well, in front of all these people, which was great.”
Currently ranked No. 15 in the latest USA TODAY Sports/MMAjunkie MMA bantamweight rankings, Almeida still maintains a no-callout policy, using his mic time in the octagon to vaguely ask for a top-10 fighter now, a top-five next and so forth.
But just because he won’t give names, it doesn’t mean Almeida doesn’t have his own ambitions. Getting to the top, he reiterates, is still very much his goal. He’s just OK with taking his time getting there.
“I want big challenges,” Almeida said. “I want to fight the best. I want to be champion. But taking it slowly, I don’t want to bite off more than I can chew. Whomever they put me against I’m going to train hard, I’m going to stay focused and I’ll give my best, for sure it will be a win.”