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Thomas Almeida responds to John Dodson’s callout, more interested in Urijah Faber fight

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Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

John Dodson is still waiting for a response after asking the UFC for a fight against bantamweight prospect Thomas Almeida, but the Brazilian is looking for a different opponent.

Ranked at No. 7 in the 135-pound division after four straight wins in 365 days as a UFC fighter, Almeida wants to face someone at the top of the bantamweight class so he moves one step closer towards the belt.

"I believe a fighter better ranked than me would be great, so I can prove to myself I’m capable and move up the rankings," the 20-0 bantamweight told MMAFighting.com. "That’s the plan, but I have to be ready for whoever the UFC wants. But if I can get an opponent ranked higher than me, that’s better."

Dodson recently explained why he wants Almeida next. The Chute Boxe talent would accept to welcome "The Magician" back to the bantamweight division, but suggests he faces former WEC champion Urijah Faber instead.

"(Dodson) is a great athlete, I admire him a lot, he has beaten great names in both divisions, bantamweight and below," Almeida said. "I’m an employee and I don’t pick fights. Whoever the UFC wants, I’ll do my best to win.

"Every fight is interesting, especially now at the top of the division. It’s a challenge. But I believe Faber would be a better fight for me career-wise."

Faber is currently slated to face Frankie Saenz in the preliminary portion of UFC 194 on Dec. 12, looking to bounce back from a unanimous decision loss to Frankie Edgar in May.

"I believe he is (the perfect fight for me)," Almeida said of "The California Kid". "He’s ranked higher than me. He’s a great athlete, has a really good name, a lot of experience, so it would be a big challenge for me. If I can get past him, and prove my training is on the right way, it would be ideal."

Almeida only finished three of 20 opponents by way of submission as a mixed martial artist, and scored three of 16 knockouts after joining the UFC. However, "Thominhas" is confident he has what it takes to grapple with Faber.

"I have to keep my fight style, that’s what the UFC likes and what sells well, but I’m well prepared for everything," he said. "If we go to the ground, if he wants to grapple or wrestle, I’ll be fine. I train with the best and I’m experienced, getting more confident after each fight. That’s what matters."