The rising bantamweight is scheduled to fight Cody Garbrandt in the headliner of UFC Fight Night 88 on Sunday, and if Almeida wins, he could move into the title shot mix. Since the Brazilian fighter arrived in the UFC, Almeida’s won four straight fights, and is currently ranked #7 at 145.
Recently the 24 year-old prospect was asked to weigh-in on Silva’s comments, and here is what Almeida had to say (quote via MMA Junkie.com):
“What Anderson Silva may say doesn’t affect me,” Almeida said. “I know my own worth, where I want to get, my willpower, my objective, and why I fight. I fight for my fans, for the Brazilian people, for my team, and for my family. I’m confident I’ll reach my goals. It just makes me sad to see comments like that.
“…As a great icon, he should give a good example. He should encourage other fighters to work harder to reach championship status in the world’s greatest organization. I know that we Brazilians are giving our best to represent the green-and-yellow flag. We will have other belts and keep the ones we have.”
It will be interesting to see if Almeida can continue his rise up the ranks against Garbrandt, who is also a rising commodity and a noted finisher. After that, the climb to the belt is pretty, pretty, pretty challenging. Not only is there several, very well rounded fighters at the top, the greatest bantamweight ever, Mr. Dominick Cruz, is the champ.
Recently Brazil’s champions list was reduced by one, as Fabricio Werdum lost the heavyweight belt to Stipe Miocic. The only remaining UFC champ from the South American nation is lightweight king, Rafael dos Anjos.