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Almeida Eyes Faber, Wants to Silence Critics

Photo Courtesy of AP

Owning an undefeated record through 20 pro bouts, a 24-year-old Thomas Almeida still recognizes he has doubters, he told Combate (via Bloody Elbow).

Only a few weeks removed from his first-round knockout over Anthony Birchak at UFC Fight Night 77, the young Brazilian already has his sights set on a new opponent — an adversary capable of carrying Almeida’s name to new heights.

“I don’t choose very much, but I think [Urijah] Faber would be a great challenge in my career,” Almeida said. “He’s very good, he is famous and is good at wrestling. Many people say I haven’t proven myself yet, so hopefully that would shut them up and everyone would see how well trained and confident I am. I’m a big fan of Faber and he’s above me in the rankings.”

Faber is currently slated to face Frankie Saenz at UFC 194 on Dec. 12. Currently ranked fourth in the division, a victory over Saenz could thrust “The California Kid” back into the title picture, especially considering Renan Barao — who’s defeated Faber twice in the last three years — is no longer the champion.

Almedia, who’s starched through three of his first four UFC opponents via KO, was called out by former two-time flyweight contender John Dodson recently. It’s a call-out that didn’t necessarily surprise him, he said.

“I’m beginning to get noticed, so people want to make a name for themselves out of me,” Almeida said. “The guy who takes away my invincibility will be remembered. But I don’t think about that, I know defeat comes to every fighter. Nobody is unbeatable. My goal is to get the belt, losing or not, that’s my focus, nothing changes in my head.”

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