Alex Pereira, former two division Glory Kickboxing champion, has joined the UFC and will make his debut at UFC 268 against Andreas Michailidis and I can’t wait!
Pereira is of course an excellent striker and will prove a difficult test for a middleweight division which, apart from Derek Brunson, currently lacks wrestling prowess at it’s upper end. Even with Brunson being the best wrestler in the division as of now, he couldn’t get close to taking down Israel Adesanya back in 2018.
In that match Izzy used his length, size and basic takedown defence to prevent Brunson from taking their fight to the floor and with Pereira and Adesanya having the exact same height and reach, with greater power, I’m sure he can prevent a takedown or two.
Speaking of power, the left hook of Pereira is what fans should look out for in his debut. For such a tall fighter to have that much power, it makes it difficult for smaller fighters to get close as he can either pick an opponent apart from the outside or finish them in the pocket with a nasty counter left hook.
Pereira is also training with UFC Light Heavyweight number one contender Glover Teixeira, who will help guide his compatriot on the jiu-jitsu side of the game and if Alex can pickup small elements of that, then he could easily be UFC Middleweight champion in a couple of years.
It’s a long look into the future, however, looking at the top of the division, Pereira’s somatotype alone severely favours him against the likes of Robert Whittaker, Marvin Vettori and Jared Cannonier. He’s beaten the champion of the division twice and if they were to fight again, it would essentially be a trilogy of their kickboxing fights. Even the likes of Paulo Costa would struggle with the technical ability of Alex as we’ve seen him struggle with Israel.
All in all, I think Alex Pereira could be the most a problem in the middleweight division and I can’t wait to see him debut in November.