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Almeida slices through Rozenstruik for 1st-round tap at UFC Charlotte

Jeff Bottari / UFC / Getty

Jailton Almeida continued his rapid rise in the UFC heavyweight division Saturday by making quick work of top-10 contender Jairzinho Rozenstruik.

Almeida submitted Rozenstruik with a rear-naked choke at the 3:43 mark of the first round in the UFC Charlotte main event.

The Brazilian secured a takedown 30 seconds into the fight - his first headlining opportunity in the UFC - and controlled Rozenstruik for three minutes. Then, he advanced to full mount and landed ground-and-pound before sinking in the submission and forcing a tap from Rozenstruik.

"Everybody said (Rozenstruik) was one of the most dangerous guys in the division, that he was going to knock me out," Almeida, who was a heavy betting favorite, said in his postfight interview. "All he did was slap me a couple times.

"When I come down with the pressure, nobody can get me," he added.

One of the best heavyweight up-and-comers in recent years, Almeida is closing in on title contention after barreling through the No. 9-ranked Rozenstruik. He made his Octagon debut in February 2022 and is now 5-0 in the UFC. All of his wins have been finishes, including four in the first round. He has absorbed just two significant strikes in his UFC career so far.

The 31-year-old has the most stoppage victories in the promotion since the start of last year. He is also tied with welterweight Shavkat Rakhmonov for the second-longest active UFC finish streak, just behind heavyweight Sergei Pavlovich (six).

Almeida suggested Tai Tuivasa as a potential next opponent.

"I want another challenge," he said.

Rozenstruik came into Saturday's main event on the heels of a 23-second knockout win over Chris Daukaus last December, but he's now 1-3 in his last four appearances.

In the co-main event, light heavyweight Johnny Walker earned the biggest win of his career, taking a unanimous decision over former title challenger Anthony Smith.

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