Jailton Almeida advises Tom Aspinall to be ‘very patient’ vs. Curtis Blaydes at UFC 304

Jailton Almeida hopes Tom Aspinall can learn from his mistakes when he defends his interim heavyweight title against Curtis Blaydes at UFC 304.

Almeida (19-3 MMA, 6-1 UFC), who meets Alexandr Romanov on Saturday at UFC 302 at Prudential Center in Newark, N.J. (pay-per-view, ESPN2, ESPN+), is coming off a difficult loss to Blaydes in his most recent performance. He was winning the fight early after scoring nine takedowns in the opening round, but then Blaydes turned the tide and earned a knockout from ground strikes early in the second frame at UFC 299 in March.

The Brazilian admits he got overeager against Blaydes due to his early success, and that ultimately cost him as he was unable to show patience and maintain the same pace over the course of three rounds.

He said Aspinall (14-3 MMA, 7-1 UFC) needs to study that approach going into his rematch with Blaydes (18-4 MMA, 13-4 UFC) on June 27 at Co-op Live in Manchester, England, and advises the interim champ not to overextend himself in the early moments of the bout.

“I think Aspinall is going to win,” Almeida told MMA Junkie through an interpreter. “He’s a more complete fighter. He has a lot of respect for his career. I do believe that Curtis is a very strategic fighter and Aspinall will have to be very patient, just as I wasn’t. Aspinall will have to be very patient and understand to when he can throw himself at Curtis, because Curtis will be waiting for him. On the floor, probably.”

Blaydes got a victory over Aspinall in their first meeting at UFC Fight Night 208 in July 2022, but it was far from satisfying. Aspinall went down with an injury just 15 seconds into the headlining bout, and now the pair get the opportunity to have a sequel without controversy.

In the meantime, Almeida, No. 10 in the latest USA TODAY Sports/MMA Junkie heavyweight rankings, will be looking to reestablish himself as a contender against Romanov and set himself up for a future encounter with No. 2-ranked Aspinall or rematch with No. 5-ranked Blaydes.

“I want to fight Aspinall in the future, and I also would like to come back and fight with Curtis once again,” Almeida said. “I’m looking for revenge, and I know the first step is to have a victory (at UFC 302).”

For more on the card, visit MMA Junkie’s event hub for UFC 302 and UFC 304.

Story originally appeared on MMA Junkie