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Cesar Almeida Hopes to Finish Story with Ex-Kickboxing Rival Alex Pereira in MMA



Cesar Almeida, who is considered to be Alex Pereira’s biggest kickboxing rival in Brazil, began his Octagon tenure with a “Performance of the Night” bonus after defeating Dylan Budka via TKO this past Saturday at UFC Fight Night 240.

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“I finished my camp at Xtreme Couture. Since Dylan was a wrestler, my strategy was basically be patient defending his takedowns, hurt him in the clinch and wait for the right moment to knock him out. Thank God, everything went out as we expected,” Almeida told Sherdog.com. “I couldn't hold the emotion. My goal is not to spend anything. I will put that [bonus] in the bank to pay for college for my two daughters.”

In his post-fight interview, Almeida asked to face Chris Weidman. But he revealed to Sherdog.com that he would prefer to face a striker next.

“It was good to face a top wrestler right in my debut, but of course against a striker I could show all my abilities and provide a much more entertaining fight,” Almeida said.

Almeida, who is 1-2 against Pereira in kickboxing, revealed that he spoke to “Poatan” backstage. The reigning light heavyweight champion has promised to face him for a fourth time if he can defeat three consecutive opponents in the UFC.

“He told me he would accept a fourth match if I beat three guys in a row,” Almeida said. “Our three fights are considered among the best kickboxing matches ever produced in Brazil. The first one was a five-round Brazilian national title in 2013, and he won via decision. The second one was also in 2013, and I won two of three rounds in a tournament final. The third one was for the WGP belt in 2015. He dropped me twice in the second round, but I recovered and won the fourth and fifth rounds, but he won via decision.”

Almeida added that if Jamahal Hill were unable to face Pereira at UFC 300 for any reason, he would be willing to step in.

“I´ll be in Vegas next week. I've already told the UFC to count on me if Hill has some problems,” he said. “I already faced ‘Poatan’ for 13 rounds in kickboxing. It would be a pleasure to finish our story in MMA.”
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