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Thomas Almeida hopes Legacy FC title lead to UFC contract

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Thomas Almeida scored five knockout victories in 2013, and he has set big goals for 2014.

Following a first-round stoppage win over George Pacurariu in his debut inside the Legacy Fighting Championship cage last December, "Thominhas" (15-0) expects to meet bantamweight champion Matt Hobar (8-1) in his next bout.

With a major title in his record, he hopes to earn a contract with the UFC.

"I believe my next fight will be for the title, and winning a title would help me a lot to get there," Almeida told MMAFighting.com, "and there’s a clause in my contract saying I can go to the UFC if they offer me a deal."

Hobar won the vacant bantamweight championship with a first-round submission victory over Angel Huerta at Legacy FC 21, last July, but hasn’t defended the title yet.

Almeida, who stopped every opponent throughout his undefeated career, 14 of them in the first round, wants to join his teammates Felipe Arantes, Lucas Martins and Charles Oliveira in the UFC, and chose to decline offers from major promotions, including World Series of Fighting, to get there.

"I got offers from big promotions a long time ago, but my goal is to be in the UFC," he said. "If I have to fight again at Legacy FC and then get my chance in the UFC, I will.

"I’m young, at 22 years old, and I want to get experience to grow as a fighter. I want to be one of the best and one day fight for the UFC title."