Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) bantamweights Thomas Almeida and Yves Jabouin collided last night (April 25, 2015) at UFC 186 inside the Bell Centre in Montreal, Quebec, Canada.
Almeida entered this bout as one of the bantamweight division's hottest prospects, unbeaten in 17 fights. With a serious lack of contenders in the 135-pound class, Almeida had a major opportunity to gain some serious momentum.
On the other hand, Jabouin was struggling to find consistency, having alternated wins and losses in his last four bouts. However, "Tiger" had a chance to steal his opponent's considerable hype and make it his own.
After a feeling out process, Jabouin slammed his opponent to the mat with a double leg takedown. Almeida was quick to return to his feet, though he ate some shots for his trouble. Back on their feet, Almeida looked to open up with his combinations while Jabouin countered with body kicks and jabs.
Despite Jabouin's effective counter striking, Almeida was scoring clean with plenty of his punches. Before long, one of Almeida's strikes stunned "The Tiger." Once Almeida hurt his opponent, he swarmed, attacking with a barrage of punches, elbows, and kicks to the body and head.
Jabouin covered up and leaned up against the fence, but Almeida continued to put forth a high volume of shots that found their mark. Before long, the referee had seen enough and called the bout, as Jabouin had simply stopped defending himself.
This was a spectacular win by Almeida. He once again demonstrated his excellent high-volume Muay Thai attack, and he did it against a very talented striker. Plus, Almeida earned the finish that eluded him in his debut.
On the feet, Almeida is a hugely effective and entertaining fighter to watch. He frequently digs into his opponent's body -- which is always nice to see -- and puts together varied and dangerous combinations. At just 23 years old, the Brazilian has some serious potential.
In addition, Almeida briefly showed nice scrambling ability immediately after being put on his back. Though the ease with which Jabouin first put him there is a bit worrying, Almeida's quickness in returning to his feet was very well done and is a strong sign for his future.
Despite his experience, the UFC should not yet throw Almeida in the Octagon against top 15 fighters. Instead, give him a tough but beatable opponent, such as Manny Gamburyan.
This is a tough loss for Jabouin, but it's not really unexpected. At this point in his career, Jabouin is a gatekeeper in the bantamweight division. Unfortunately for the Canadian, he ran into a very talented up-and-comer and couldn't handle his opponent's offensive output.
For Jabouin's next match, expect him to get in there with a fellow bantamweight veteran. For example, Takeya Mizugaki needs an opponent after his defeat last weekend, and it would surely be an entertaining scrap.
At UFC 186, Thomas Almeida dispatched Yves Jabouin with powerful combination striking. How high will the Brazilian climb in the bantamweight division?
For complete UFC 186 "Johnson vs Horiguchi" results and play-by-play, click HERE.