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Shamil Abdurakhimov of Russia has his hands taped backstage during the UFC 266 event on September 25, 2021 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC)
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Shamil Abdurakhimov Continues To Challenge Himself

Heavyweight Vet Faces Rising Star Jailton Almeida At UFC 283: Teixeira vs Hill On January 21 In Brazil

Since making his UFC debut in 2015, Shamil Abdurakhimov has continued to fight some of the promotion’s biggest names.

After suffering defeat in his debut, Abdurakhimov won five of his next six, including stoppage wins over Marcin Tybura and  Chase Sherman, while outpointing former UFC heavyweight champion Andrei Arlovski on the judges' scorecards in their matchup back in 2018. His only loss during that four-year stretch was to UFC knockout king Derrick Lewis.

Order UFC 283: Teixeira vs Hill

In his last three bouts, however, Abdurakhimov has struggled to find those same results, losing all three by TKO before reaching the third round. At surface level, this obviously isn’t the run he or any fighter want to find themselves on. But when you look deeper, his matchups became even more difficult despite the setbacks.

Shamil Abdurakhimov of Russia lands a spinning back fist against Marcin Tybura of Poland in their heavyweight bout during the UFC Fight Night event at Yubileyny Sports Palace on April 20, 2019 in Saint Petersburg, Russia. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC)

Shamil Abdurakhimov of Russia lands a spinning back fist against Marcin Tybura of Poland in their heavyweight bout during the UFC Fight Night event at Yubileyny Sports Palace on April 20, 2019 in Saint Petersburg, Russia. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC)


At UFC 242, Shamil challenged No. 4 ranked Curtis Blaydes. One year later he faced No. 11 Chris Daukaus, and then closed out his 2022 campaign early last year after his first-round loss to No. 3 ranked Sergei Pavlovich in March. While falling short in those three matchups, each time he stepped into the Octagon he gained more valuable experience against some of the most elite competition mixed martial arts has to offer.

UFC 283 INTERVIEWS: Deiveson Figueiredo | Brandon Moreno | Jéssica Andrade | Order The Event

For the first time in a handful of years, Abdurakhimov won’t be fighting an elite veteran, but will face an up-and-comer in Jailton Almeida, who’s won all his three of his UFC bouts by first-round finish. The two were previously scheduled to meet at UFC 279: Diaz vs Ferguson, but Visa issues forced Abdurakhimov out of the bout while Almeida fought Anton Turkalj on short notice.

Shamil Abdurakhimov of Russia celebrates after his knockout victory over Chase Sherman in their heavyweight bout during the UFC Fight Night event inside the Mercedes-Benz Arena on November 25, 2017 in Shanghai, China. (Photo by Brandon Magnus/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

Shamil Abdurakhimov of Russia celebrates after his knockout victory over Chase Sherman in their heavyweight bout during the UFC Fight Night event inside the Mercedes-Benz Arena on November 25, 2017 in Shanghai, China. (Photo by Brandon Magnus/Zuffa LLC)


The fight was rescheduled for UFC 280: Oliveira vs Makhachev, but Abdurakhimov withdrew again, this time after suffering a knee injury in training. Despite both cancellations, the fight was scheduled for the third time.

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Abdurakhimov travels to Brazil to fight Almeida in his home country at UFC 283: Teixeira vs Hill on January 21 live from Jeunesse Arena in Rio de Janeiro. After fighting tough competition his whole career, a matchup with a rising star is nothing special.

“Every opponent is interesting for me because each time it is a new challenge but, besides that, I can’t say that this guy is especially interesting for me,” Abdurakhimov said. “The first time I didn’t get a Visa for a fight in US and then I injured my knee but, in general, I don’t give a s**t who [I] fight.”

UFC 283: Teixeira vs Hill

When asked why he thinks Almeida has found so much success since signing with the UFC on Dana White’s Contender Series in September 2021, Abdurakhimov’s answer was quite simple.

“He is a young, hungry well-rounded fighter,” Abdurakhimov said. “In his previous battles he just was better than his opponents.”

Almeida has flashed onto the scene as one of the heavyweight division’s most interesting prospects. With exceptional grappling and a strong striking pedigree, Almeida has breezed to a 3-0 UFC record, and because of this, Abdurakhimov’s goals for their UFC 283 scrap are quite simple: just get the victory and nothing more.

“I’m in good shape, I feel great and fully focused,” Abdurakhimov said. “It would be awesome if I can start a new win streak now.”

UFC 283: Teixeira vs Hill took place live from Jeunesse Arena in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil on January 21, 2023. See the Final Results, Official Scorecards and Who Won Bonuses - and relive the action on UFC Fight Pass