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Thomas Almeida wants to show his evolution after layoff: ‘I’m older, more experienced’

Bantamweight Thomas Almeida wants to show he is more than just a brawler in his return to the Octagon.

After a series of injuries kept bantamweight striker Thomas Almeida away from the Octagon for over two years, the time has finally come for his return. Paired up against Jonathan Martinez at UFC Fight Island 6, ‘Thominhas’ is ready to show the world what he learned in the meantime.

Usually known for his knockout power and tendency to get into stand-up wars, Almeida believes it is time to show he is a more matured fighter than that. In an interview with Ag Fight, the Brazilian said he intends to put on a more well-rounded performance against Martinez.

“I’ve been fighting all my life. I have had several fights, tons of experience. Now I’m older, more experienced. I have evolved a lot during this time away. So I wouldn’t say I’m anxious. I just want to fight soon because doing what I love makes me happy. I really like fighting. It was very clear to me how much I like it during this time I’ve been away. I like fighting, I like competing, I enjoy a good challenge. I want it to be here soon, but I also want to enjoy the whole process, which is the most important part.”

“To be a well-rounded MMA fighter, sometimes you need to take the fight to the ground, control, clinch against the cage.” Almeida continued. “You have to be able to use every aspect of the game. I studied a lot, especially because there was a time I couldn’t train. I didn’t want my mind to wander out of the fighting world. I studied, I watched videos, I saw techniques. That’s how I adapted and what made me evolve as a fighter, My wrestling, my grappling. Those are areas I didn’t develop as much. If you watch my old fights, they were all brawls. MMA is not only that. You have to expand, become a complete fighter. That’s why I’m always trying to evolve. You’ll see on Saturday. I’ll keep this surprise for you guys.”

Currently on a two-fight losing skid, Almeida (21-3) suffered back-to-back losses to Rob Font and Jimmie Rivera, in January 2018 and July 2017. The 29-year-old’s last win happened all the way back in November 2016, when he defeated Albert Morales by way of TKO.

Now, Almeida is expected to take on Jonathan Martinez tonight at UFC Fight Island 6, in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. The card is scheduled to be headlined by a featherweight bout between top contenders Chan Sung Jung and Brian Ortega.