Jailton Almeida pleads for Ciryl Gane matchup at UFC Paris: ‘This fight could be a title eliminator’

Jailton Almeida wants it – and he wants it bad.

Less than one month removed from his UFC 302 submission of Alexandr Romanov, Almeida (21-3 MMA, 7-1 UFC) has received a full health clearance after the New Jersey Athletic Control Board (NJACB), which regulated the event, detected a potential knee injury.

Almeida doubled down on his callout of Ciryl Gane (12-2 MMA 9-2 UFC) in a statement issued Thursday to MMA Junkie.

“There was news on the internet that I was injured,” Almeida said, using a translator. “That’s not true. After the fight, I felt discomfort in my knee from old things I already had, but nothing out of the ordinary. I’m already 100 percent and training, even in Sao Joao. I even posted this weekend doing physical preparation and straining my knee. I have already sent the MRI exams and medical reports to the UFC and everything is OK.”

“… I’m looking forward to my next fight. I’ve been targeting Ciryl Gane in France, because France’s cards are always very good and today Gane is one of the most ranked athletes in the category and with excellent morale within the UFC. I believe he would be a great fight.”

The UFC’s return to Paris is three months away with only one bout known publicly. Gane has remained relatively quiet in recent months. UFC interim heavyweight champion Tom Aspinall claimed Gane turned down a title fight as he works on a movie role.

It’s unclear if Gane will be available for the date, but Almeida is doing everything he can to draw him out. Almeida only sees one other viable option, Alexander Volkov, who he doesn’t really think makes sense.

“I don’t see many possibilities for Gane to fight in France,” Almeida said. “Simply all the names already have fights scheduled, as I put in a post on Twitter. Now the only option is me and Volkov. As he already beat Volkov in a fight that was super boring, the (fight) doesn’t match. It would be the same thing. The two having an extremely tactical fight, without much activity”

“I believe that Almeida vs. Gane is much more interesting, not only because it is a new fight, but also because it is a duel of styles. There is no way this fight will go to the end, if I manage to impose my game. I will put it down and finish, and if he manages to impose his game, he will be able to keep the fight standing, and put on the show he is used to doing.”

Almeida said he’s already pitched the matchup to the UFC, as has his managers, Leonardo Pateira and Tiago Okamura, of On The Road Management. It’s outside of his control what happens from here, but he’s going to try his best to keep campaigning.

“My manager has already spoken to the UFC about my interest in this fight,” Gane said. “I myself have already spoken to Mick (Maynard) about my interest in this fight. I have already challenged Gane on social media. Now, I’m just waiting for it to happen. It’s in the hands of the UFC and Gane, Let’s wait. I want to stay active because a fighter’s life is short and I believe this fight could be a title eliminator and put me in contention for the belt.”

Almeida, 33, is unblemished in the UFC outside of a TKO loss to Curtis Blaydes in March.

Gane, 34, is 2-1 since a failed title bit vs. Francis Ngannou in January 2022. He most recently competed in September when he finished Serghei Spivac with strikes in Round 2.

Story originally appeared on MMA Junkie