- What: UFC on ESPN+ 89 main event
- Who: Jailton Almeida vs. Derrick Lewis
- Date: Saturday, November 4, 2023
- Location: Ginasio do Ibirapuera in Sao Paulo, Brazil
- Time: Prelims (6:00 p.m. ET) Main Card (9:00 p.m. ET)
- How to Watch: ESPN+
On Saturday, November 4, Jailton Almeida looks to continue his march up the UFC heavyweight rankings against former title challenger Derrick Lewis in the main event of UFC on ESPN+ 89, which takes place at Ginasio do Ibirapuera in Sao Paulo, Brazil. Almeida, who fights out of Brazil, is the No. 9 ranked fighter in the UFC heavyweight division. Lewis, who fights out of Texas, is ranked No. 10. Here is some information on Jailton Almeida and Derrick Lewis before we discuss the betting breakdown for the UFC on ESPN+ 89 fight card.
Jailton Almeida (19-2) is 5-0 in the UFC with five finishes. Four of his UFC stoppages have come in the first round. The other was a second-round finish. He is coming off a May 2023 submission win over Jairzinho Rozenstruik. Almeida has seven knockouts and 12 submissions during his career.
Derrick Lewis (27-11-0-1) ended the first three-fight losing skid of his career in July when he picked up a first-round TKO win over Marcos Rogerio de Lima. Lewis had been stopped in his previous three outings, losing by knockout twice and submission once. The 38-year-old holds the UFC record with 14 knockout victories during his promotional career. Overall, Lewis has 22 career KO wins.
Before we look at the best bets for the Almeida vs. Lewis matchup at UFC on ESPN+ 89, check out the best UFC betting sites and our best bets for the main event of UFC 295: Jon Jones vs. Stipe Miocic.
UFC on ESPN+ 89 main event main event: Jailton Almeida vs. Derrick Lewis betting picks
UFC on ESPN+ 89 main event main event: Jailton Almeida vs. Derrick Lewis betting breakdown
The first thing one wants to note about the matchup between Jailton Almeida and Derrick Lewis is the lack of decisions on their records. Almeida, who turned pro in 2012, has a single fight that went the distance (a loss). As for Lewis, he has six bouts that have gone the distance, winning four of those and losing two. Lewis’ most recent decision came in 2020. Almeida has not been the distance since 2018. All of this is to say that while the UFC on ESPN+ 89 main event is scheduled for five rounds, it’s not likely to last that long.
Almeida has shown himself to be one of the more athletic fighters in the UFC’s heavyweight division. The black belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu has 12 career submission victories, three of which have come under the UFC banner. Almeida started his UFC run as a light heavyweight, and he is not a particularly big heavyweight, but his skills and fitness set him apart from his peers in the division and give him the advantage when it comes to grappling and avoiding the strikes of his opponents.
Lewis is one of the hardest-hitting fighters in the heavyweight division, but he struggles against defensively sound fighters, which Almeida is. Further, Lewis’ takedown defense could be better. His best hope to win comes through his power and catching his opponents when they are not ready. The betting odds don’t favor him to do that in Sao Paulo.
UFC on ESPN+ 89 main event main event: Jailton Almeida vs. Derrick Lewis statistical breakdown
For as much power as Derrick Lewis packs, he’s not a terribly active striker. He tends to throw big punches and little volume. Lewis lands just 2.60 significant strikes per minute and connects on 50 percent of his attempts. Jailton Almeida is more active and accurate, landing 3.81 significant strikes per minute, and he lands 64 percent of his attempts. Almeida rarely gets hit, absorbing 0.30 significant strikes per minute. Lewis gets tagged at a rate of 2.59 per minute.
Jailton Almeida’s grappling stands out. He lands 6.40 takedowns per 15 minutes and attempts 2.5 submissions in that timeframe. Lewis needs to worry about Almeida’s takedowns as Lewis’ takedown defense is a somewhat porous 52 percent.
In his most recent fight, which lasted 3:43, Almeida had 3:09 of control time, which goes to show that he can keep his foe on the mat when he gets a takedown.
Best Bets for UFC on ESPN+ 89 main event: Jailton Almeida vs. Derrick Lewis
As with every UFC heavyweight fight, the betting underdog has a puncher’s chance to pull off an upset knockout win. With that, there is betting value in picking Lewis to win via knockout. However, that’s not the betting pick to make for this fight. The pick is Jailton Almeida to win inside the distance by submission. My betting prediction is that Almeida gets things done before the fourth round of this five-round contest.
Best UFC on ESPN+ 89 Betting Pick: Jailton Almeida to beat Derrick Lewis by submission.
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