Jailton Almeida has spoken out in support of his teammate Carlos Felipe in the wake of the latter’s second USADA suspension.
The Brazilian submission artist spoke to reporters after his first-round rear-naked choke win against Parker Porter at UFC Vegas 55. Almeida had given a shout-out to Felipe immediately after his win, prompting the interviewer to ask about Filipe’s importance to Almeida as a friend and teammate.
“Carlos Felipe is like a brother to me,” Almeida said. “He was the person that extended his hand and showed me the dream that it is to fight in the UFC. If I was able to do what I did there with Porter, it’s because I had Carlos Felipe there working with me every day, you know?”
While the interviewer didn’t specifically ask about Felipe’s suspension, Almeida went on to acknowledge the topic anyway.
“We believe that he was unjustly caught in the doping test. We know that he didn’t do anything, but something popped in his test. He has done it before, and he openly talks about having used before when he was caught the first time. But you know, he’s not a dumb person. He knows what he has to do in order to stay clean and stay in the sport. So, I know that he didn’t do it and he’s gonna be back here very soon.”
Originally signed by the UFC in 2017, Felipe failed a USADA test in the lead-up to his promotional debut and accepted a two year suspension.
The Brazilian heavyweight finally entered the UFC with a majority decision loss to Sergey Spivak in 2020. “Boi” rebounded with three straight wins but lost to Andrei Arlovski in 2021 and ran afoul of USADA a second time. He is currently unable to compete until April 16, 2023.
Contender Series 2021 contract winner Jailton Almeida entered the UFC as a light heavyweight and is now 2-0 in the promotion following his win over Parker Porter at heavyweight. “Malhadinho” has finished both his UFC opponents in the first round and hasn’t lost an MMA bout since 2018.
What are your thoughts on Almeida claiming that Felipe was “unjustly caught” by USADA?