Almeida (17-2 MMA, 3-0 UFC) needed less than a round to take out Anton Turkalj (8-1 MMA, 0-1 UFC) at UFC 279 on Saturday in a 220-pound catchweight fight. Almeida took the fight down to the mat early and forced Turkalj to tap with a rear-naked choke.
An impressed commentary crew lauded the Brazilian for his performance, and Anik called it “too easy.” Although Almeida has an array of early finishes to his name, he doesn’t see anything easy in the preparation for the fight.
“First of all, thank you for your commentary. We trained so hard in the gym exactly for that,” Almeida told MMA Junkie and other reporters through an interpreter at the post-fight news conference. “It’s a process. We work so hard over there. I understand people may look at it and say, ‘OK, yeah that kind of looked easy.’ But no, it’s a process. We go all the way back there and we put so much of an effort during training so we can come over here to make it look easy in your eyes. But it’s a very hard-working process and we go all out at the gym.”
Almeida originally was scheduled to fight Shamil Abdurakhimov, but he withdrew and was replaced on 10 days’ notice by Turkalj. Almedia is hoping for a quick turnaround at UFC 280 on Oct. 22 in Abu Dhabi and would like his fight with Abdurakhimov rebooked.
“I want to fight Shamil. I mean, he’s a ranked guy,” Almeida said. “That’s the focus right now. The focus is actually to go to Abu Dhabi, or if we can’t make it in Abu Dhabi, let’s go to Brazil (for UFC 283 in January). Why not?”
Check out Almeida’s full post-fight interview in the video above.
For more on the card, visit MMA Junkie’s event hub for UFC 279.