Alemida was one of the hottest prospects in the game. But since then Almeida has fought just four times. His most recent trip to the Octagon was in January of 2018.

On Saturday, Almeida will make his way to the Octagon for the first time since January 2018 when he takes on Jonathan Martinez at Fight Island.

You can catch Almeida vs. Martinez as the opening fight of the ESPN+ main card. UFC.com sat with Almeida to discuss his time away from the Octagon, what it means to be back and much more.

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UFC: It’s been a long way since your return. What’s it like to finally be back on fight week?

TA: This is something that I’ve been waiting for, for a long time. Fighting here on the island is amazing. It’s a beautiful place and the people treat me like a king.

UFC: A layoff after a long injury is tough. How did you handle the emotional ups and downs of the comeback?

TA: It’s part of the sport and part of the athlete’s life. At first it was tough, but I had to deal with it and train my body and mind. No sparring but training other ways and adapting myself. Being with my family and friends (helped a lot). People I know really care about me.

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