Shamil Abdurakhimov will attempt to break his three-fight losing skid against a fighter 10 years his junior at UFC 283. Jailton “Malhadinho” Almeida, who earned his UFC contract on the Contender Series has already accumulated a UFC record of 3-0. This is over three times less than Addurakhimov but the momentum will be with the Brazilian.
Almeida is coming off of a big victory over Anton Turkalj last September. He has a 100% finishing rate in his pro career with 17 wins and just two losses. Although Abdurakhimov’s last win came in 2019, it does show just how dangerous he can be. It consisted of a TKO finish over the always-game Marcin Tybura which then put him on three straight victories including a decision over Andrei Arlovski and a KO over Chase Sherman.
Likely due to his recent losses, Abdurakhimov will be one of the largest underdogs on the card.
- Shamil Abdurakhimov: +600
- Jailton Almeida: -900
Shamil Abdurakhimov hails from Dagestan but does not fit the typical wrestling-heavy approach of many of his countrymen. Instead, he actually comes from a kickboxing and sanshou base. However, he did develop good freestyle wrestling takedowns and top pressure early on making him a threat everywhere.
He stands conventional, with a high guard. He will often look to break through distance with a leaping left hook but patiently looks for his opportunities to move in calculatingly. His right hand is powerful, but it’s often used for multiple other purposes. He will stretch with it to then throw a left hook behind at a closer distance. Even more commonly, however, he uses the right overhand to disguise his level change, roll under the counter and attack the double leg.
Abdurakhimov does not have a highly sophisticated jiu-jitsu game, but his ability to stay heavy and maintain a top position is a massive problem. He is content to work inside his opponent’s guard, dig his forehead into their chest, and hammer away at the body, building on control time. On his back, he looks to immediately hip escape to one side with an under-hook and wrestle up rather than play any sort of offensive guard.
Jailton Almeida, on the other hand, is one of the most promising and dangerous BJJ artists in the heavier weight classes. Yet, every fight starts on the feet. Almeida is a powerful striker, with a solid right low kick and a snappy left shift kick to the head. He is very precise and tight with his boxing, so despite having a good reach, he does have to step absolutely into range to land because he doesn’t stretch on his shots. This is also because he tends to maintain a very upright and tall posture whenever he is exchanging, so he does need to be wary of the overhand counter when he throws his kicks, leaving himself on the centreline and upright.
That being said, the moments we see Almeida striking are few and far between as he is always thinking about level-changing. He will feint and throw up high to bring his opponent’s guard up and then blast double. He usually runs the hips to the cage and completes it, quick to collect the far side wrist and force his opponents to either give up the back or be mounted. Almeida’s grappling game can be attributed to his masterful ability to misdirect his opponents. He will pressure on hip, just so that he can pass the guard on the other side when they defend, he will seem as though he is taking the back just to snatch the opposite arm or choke on the other side as they turn into him. Fan’s watching Almeida work know not to blink as he will quickly secure something when his opponents least expect it.
Prediction and Betting guide
Although a $100 wager would be redeemed with a $577 dollar profit, the underdog bet on Abdurkhimov is a gamble on very specific scenarios. He throws a nice right overhand and collects the opposite leg for the takedown at the same time, which could be very useful against an upright fighter like Almeida when he kicks. However, if Almeida is wise to this, then the chances for Abdurkhimov are slim. He has been knocked out in all three of his last three fights, and at 41 years old, exchanging is always a significant gamble. Almeida will most definitely look to take Abdurakhimov down and while he has good takedowns himself, the most lackluster area in his grappling skills is his abilities off of his back.
At -1000, it may not be worth it to place a single bet on Almeida, but with Abdurakhimov’s string of knockout losses, a bet on Almeida by stoppage may have a fair chance. Otherwise, stringing ‘Almeida to win’ onto a parlay to boost winnings may also be a smart bet.
Pick: Jailton Almeida to win by stoppage (-450) or to win in a parlay (-900)
Braeden Arbour is an aspiring journalist out of Ontario, Canada. He is a recent graduate of Trent University, with a black belt in Karate and a blue belt in Judo. He has also been an avid fan of MMA for the last decade.