Jailton Almeida, who has a record of 20-3-0, is set to fight in UFC 302 against Alexander Romanov. The last fight that he fought was against Curtis Blaydes. In UFC 299. The Brazilian fighter has had his share of hardships and had to give up a lot of times, but he came back every single chance that he got. He’s coming back to UFC 302 to enhance the prospect of redeeming his name in the UFC industry. Born on June 28, 1991, he was an athlete through and through and wanted to be a football player, but then he got attracted to combat sports since his father was a boxer.

The BJJ Blackbelt is a well-rounded MMA fighter and has been training since he was 11 years old. But he has had his hardships as well, which he carries from his childhood. His career in MMA has had a lot of contributions from his father, and even the nickname Malhado, which is always announced when he comes into the octagon, has a family history. Let’s see the special origins of his nickname and how he became one of the most renowned fighters in the UFC.

Origin of Jailton Almeida’s Brazilian nickname, ‘Malhadinho’

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Almeida grew up in Brazil and looked up to his father, Jailton “Malhado,” who was a boxer and competed in Salvador Bahia. Not only that, but his uncle was also a boxer, along with his older brother Alexander. So it is safe to say that the heavyweight division fighter was always surrounded by boxers in his family and got his basic training from his family members. Even though he was surrounded by people who were into combat sports, the lean teenager had an attraction towards football and wanted to be a goalkeeper since he was talented at that position.

Surprisingly, supporters of Salvador’s Esporte Club Victoria decided to try out and apply for the spot for the youth team and got selected. Unfortunately, he did not have a manager, and to get one, he needed to pay R$10,000. Sadly, his father could not afford it. This is how Almeida had to give up on his dreams of becoming a footballer, and instead, he decided to focus on boxing and Jiu Jitsu, which he learned for free since his father was a coach at his school.

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This prompted his dad and coach to ask him to try MMA fighting, which ultimately changed Almeida’s life. Everything was going smoothly when, in 2012, the 7th-rank fighter stopped his opponent with a rear naked choke. He was excited for the prospect of the UFC. Unfortunately, disaster struck again when his older brother disappeared in 2012. He has not met or spoken to his brother since then, and they have lost all hope of finding him again.

After that, it took Almeida three years to enter the sport of MMA cage fighting. However, he was not paid his dues and had to look for other jobs. He even told MMA fighters, One time I had to take money out of my pocket to travel and fight. I put my head on the pillow one night and said, ‘I can’t do this anymore.’ I was working as a security guard and had to pay for someone else to cover my shift so I could travel and get punched in the face for free, or even pay to get punched in the face. I wasn’t expecting to sign with the UFC after a win or anything like that; it was a long road ahead, so I stopped.”

However, he fought one obstacle after the other, proving his mettle every single time to his father. This is how his coach decided to nickname him “Malhadinho.” As a boxer, his coach nicknamed him Malhado and decided to call him “Malhadinho,” which means “little Malhado.” His father was his first coach and made the biggest contribution to bringing him into the MMA world.

Jailton Almeida’s father brought him into MMA

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He started training under his father at the age of 11, and the rest is history. He also always pays tribute to his home country by wearing yellow to represent the flag of Brazil. The fighter also had to stop many times due to a lack of money and even worked at the local gym to start making money but missed punching people inside the cage.

Almeida’s manager, Leo Pateira, could not bear to see this and told him not to give up, so he returned to the MMA once later. However, he lost to Tyago Moreira, which again made him devastated. He even mentioned once, “My father is a former boxer, and I’ve been doing sports since I was six years old. I started doing jiu-jitsu at age 11, and in 2012 I made my MMA debut.”

The aspect that made him unique was that his father was a boxer and his first coach, so just like his father, the son followed in his footsteps and became a black belt in BJJ in 2018. Ultimately, he became a pro fighter in 2021 and was offered a UFC contract after winning the season. Almeida also made an impressive debut against Danilo Marques in 2022. 

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Now that he is returning to UFC 302let’s see how the champ performs. 

 



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