“I’m very happy to be able to show my work, to be able to show my team’s work; I feel fulfilled. I want more, I want more challenges. I’m here for that. I want to grow in the event and I’m always going after my dream, which is to have the belt and defend the title for a very long time. I’m very happy, I’m young, I have my mind in the right place and I’m very happy… Everything is working out and this is many years of work; I’m very happy. I had a few injuries in this camp and I got to take care of that to begin the year well. I’m a UFC employee, whoever they put in front of me I’m going to work hard and do my best and look for a victory as always.”
-UFC Fight Night 77 winner Thomas Almeida talks future plans at the post-fight press conference (via MMAJunkie.com).
Penick’s Analysis: Almeida looked excellent on Saturday night, and that sick KO over Birchak only serves to raise his profile further. He should be getting a top 5-10 level guy next, and with a couple more performances like that he’ll be right in contention for that title. He’s an excellent young fighter, and he’s only getting better. Hopefully he can avoid some of the injury pitfalls that have held some other young fighters back as of late, because people will be looking forward to him fighting as often as he can.
[Photo (c) Jason Silva via USA Today Sports]