A pair of undefeated young heavy hitters with a propensity for violent finishes, the winner figured to become the next big thing in the bantamweight division.
Garbrandt answer the call in Las Vegas. The Team Alpha Male competitor - by way of Ohio - earned a first-round knockout at the Mandalay Bay Events Center, getting the stoppage at 2:53.
"I have the utmost respect for Thomas Almeida," said Garbrandt, who earned his eighth career KO/TKO finish. "He's going to be a future champion and I'm sure we'll have future fights for sure. But hey, can't get some respect now?"
Garbradnt was the aggressor early and often. Once he began connecting, which he did from the first exchange onward, he never took his foot off the gas. Almeida landed the occasional punch, but not much more than that.
A straight right hand rocked Almeida backwards. Garbrandt didn't let up, closing the distance and landing a giant right cross which sent Almeida dropping forward to the mat. Garbrandt got a couple more shots in before referee John McCarthy could break it up.
"I really don't have a game plan, I'm the hardest hitter in the division, Dominick Cruz, whoever, I'm going to be the champion."
Almeida dropped to 21-1, 4-1 in the UFC.