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Almeida sees Cejudo as inspiration for his comeback, targets early 2020 return

Bantamweight Thomas Almeida wants to begin a new chapter of his career next year.

UFC 220: Almeida v Font Photo by Mike Lawrie/Getty Images

Once a rising bantamweight prospect in the UFC, heavy-handed Thomas Almeida hit some bumps along the road in his career lately. In his past four fights, the 28-year-old has only won one and lost his last two, which halted his title aspirations. He also suffered an eye surgery that has kept him away from the Octagon since January 2018.

Now in the final stretch of the healing process and already training again, Thomas believes he will be able to step back in the Octagon in a matter of months, and looks up to the division’s champion, Henry Cejudo, as role model of overcoming adversity.

“He (Cejudo) is a guy who had kind of shaky start, he suffered some losses and then he turned it all around.” Almeida told Ag Fight. “He’s evolved a lot. If you look at his game from before and now, you can really tell the difference, He’s an inspiration for me and he also has that Olympic champion experience. He’s very high level. But not just him, other fighters have lost, too, and came back, That’s a role model, for sure.”

Although he does not intend to rush his return, Almeida believes he will able to have a healthy comeback in early 2020, which is enough time for to feel completely healthy and go through a training camp.

“I’m not in a hurry, I’ve waited long enough and I’m training again. I don’t want to return just for the sake of it, without being 100%. I want to be 100% when I return. I think early 2020 is a good deadline for me to recover, have a solid training period and then, when I have an opponent, go through a camp to prepare for him.”

In his last two outings, Thomas Almeida (21-3) was TKO’d by Rob Font and dropped a unanimous decision to Jimmie Rivera. The Brazilian’s last win came in November 2016, when he finished Albert Morales via TKO,

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