The original UFC 186 card featured match-ups like T.J. Dillashaw vs. Renan Barao and Rory MacDonald vs. Hector Lombard, but those match-ups ended up canceled for different reasons. Almeida, who meets UFC veteran Yves Jabouin in the main card, says it still is a good card.
"I was a little upset when I heard the news," Almeida told MMAFighting.com about the cancellations. "The whole world wanted to watch this event, but then I realized that I have to focus on myself. I will do my best and win. I will put on a great show for the fans, and they will be happy. I will show the world who Thomas Almeida is."
Almeida impressed in his UFC debut in November, earning a Fight of the Night bonus after a decision victory over Tim Gorman at UFN 56. The Brazilian bantamweight, who signed with the UFC after racking up a 16-0 MMA record with 16 finishes, expects fireworks against Jabouin.
"I won’t give him space to think," he said. "He has experience, is a veteran, and I can’t let him like the fight. I will go there and do my thing. I want to knock him out. I couldn’t finish my last fight, so I’m obsessed about the knockout this time."
"He is a tough fighter, a veteran, really technical, so it’s a good match-up. Fans will love this fight," "Thominhas" continued. "He likes to trade punches, but when he gets pressured he goes for takedowns. He has an aggressive ground and pound, too. I’m ready to fight everywhere, but I prefer to keep it standing. That’s what fans want to watch, but I’m ready for everything."
Looking back at his UFC debut, Almeida is actually glad that it lasted three rounds.
"It was a dream for me. I fought a dangerous opponent and we went the distance," he said. "It was a good opportunity for me to show my entire game, and we ended up doing the fight of the night, so that was good. It was a great experience, I showed the whole world and to myself that I’m ready to fight three or five rounds. And maybe I wouldn’t have won the bonus if I had finished him earlier."
"But I want the knockout now," Almeida added. "It was great because dedicated more and trained even harder to get the finish this time. I won’t it go the distance this time."