Brazilian ‘Jubileu’ Revitalizes Bantamweight Division in ACA

By Dmytro Synyak Oct 8, 2020

The ACA 112 event in Grozny, Russia, consisted of only 10 fights, but according to the president of Absolute Championship Akhmat, the shortening of the card actually improved its quality.

The main event and most striking of the evening was the fight between the champion “Jubileu” Deivi Daniel Oliveira de Almeida and Abdul-Rakhman Dudaev. ACA President Alexey Yatsenko admitted to Sherdog that he changed his mind several times during the fight about who would win it.

“I knew from the very beginning that it would be an interesting bout,” explained Yatsenko. “Of course, the audience was disappointed with the defeat of the local star, one of the best Russian fighters. But we knew how Jubileu broke into our league. In February 2019, he came on as a substitute, not in his weight, agreeing to fight five days before the event. And he simply took down one of our top fighters, Adlan Bataev, who was nearly one step away from the fight for the championship belt. Therefore, the result of the fight between Almeida and Dudaev did not surprise me.”

Yatsenko continued, “Although before the start of the fight I thought that Dudaev would become the favorite of the fight, but when the fight began, my opinion changed for several times. In the second round, Dudaev shook Jubileu with a strong blow, and I thought it was over. But the Brazilian then raised the pace of the fight and, in response, knocked down Dudaev onto the canvas with a powerful strike. However, he was never able to take advantage of the right moment, although he was one step away from victory. In turn, Abdul-Rahman, who seemed to have no chance, he managed to rise and even began to dominate the bout. The dot in this confrontation was put by Jubileu's knee, which flew into Dudaev's liver. Such an end of the bout was unexpected for everyone. At the same time, this blow cannot be called accidental. This is the result of a long training, this is what is called the quality of the fight.”

Daniel de Almeida, who is most often referred to in Russia by his fighting nickname of “Jubileu,” has now become a star in ACA. According to Yatsenko, the Brazilian “woke up” competition in the less popular bantamweight division, and now all fighters who have at least one victory in it dream of fighting the champion. Journalists also put high demand on “Jubileu,” but he could not meet with them for two reasons. In addition to quarantine restrictions limiting his interactions with media, he only speaks Portuguese – and a rather complicated dialect at that – so the search for such a specific translator took time.

Daniel de Almeida received a $10,000 bonus for his finish during the evening, although the obvious winner for “Knockout of the Night” went to Magomed Bibulatov. In the first round, Bibulatov shut the surging Rodrigo Praia’s lights out with a sensational spinning back kick. With the spectacular wins from both men, Yatsenko is planning a fight between the two victors.

“There are exclusive conditions for champions, under which a fighter’s fee rises sharply with each subsequent belt defense,” said the ACA president. “So Jubileu has new financial opportunities, and he is incredibly happy about that. But it will be very difficult for him to retain the title in a fight against Bibulatov. At the same time, the cinematic blow in the bout with Almeida, Bibulatov is unlikely to pass. I can say that this fight has matured by itself, the only question is when we will be able to organize it.”

Yatsenko also shared that he was surprised by the result of the preliminary match between Imran Bukuev and Azamat Pshukov in the flyweight division. Pshukov, who had long dreamed of getting into ACA, came out on short notice and submitted Imran – the latter on his way to become a contender for the title.

“I think the audience should follow Azamat Pshukov. I am sure this is not his last bright victory,” Yatsenko exclaimed.

ACA 112 was the third event for the promotion to allow spectators during the COVID-19 pandemic, with upwards of 2,000 fans in the building. Several thousand more who wanted to watch the tournament remained on the street. By the end of the year, ACA plans four more events: one in Poland and three in Russia. The next one, ACA 113, will take place on November 6 in Moscow.
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