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Rising UFC prospect Thomas Almeida’s ‘biggest fear’ is to go down like Jon Jones

Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

Jon Jones became the youngest champion in UFC history in 2011, but his title reign ended in dramatic fashion four years later for actions outside of the cage. Bantamweight prospect Thomas Almeida wants to reach the top of his division just like "Bones," but stay grounded once he's there.

Almeida signed with the UFC after racking up a perfect 17-0 record with 17 finishes, and earned a pair of post-fight bonuses after two victories inside the Octagon. With $100,000 in the bank following his impressive performances -- most recently knocking out Yves Jabouin at UFC 186 -- Almeida doesn't plan on spending a dime of his extra money.

"It’s time to make money, but stay focused," Almeida told MMAFighting.com. "I will invest everything."

At the UFC 186 post-fight press conference, Almeida said he would buy a bigger house with his second post-fight bonus, but has no intentions to touch the money yet.

"I said at the press conference that I was going to buy a big house, but I was just joking," he said. "I have no plans for this money yet. I might invest in things I need, help those who need help, but I don’t plan no using this money yet.

"I don’t want to do anything crazy. Let’s keep it in the bank [laughs]".

The Chute Boxe talent didn’t spend the $50,000 fight of the night bonus he earned after the win over Tim Gorman in November, and the ups and downs in Jon Jones’ personal life is one of the reasons why he won’t change his life style.

"That’s unfortunate," Almeida said of the Jones’ situation. "You need a good head. It’s easy to lose yourself with money. That’s my biggest fear. But I’m a grounded man, a family guy, so I will just save money and help my family."

Ranked No. 15 in the bantamweight division, Almeida expects to be back in action in three months against "anyone at the top 15."

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