Even though UFC Middleweight Alex Pereira is yet to make his debut at the promotion’s Octagon, he is not unknown to fight fans anyway. The kickboxing legend who has 4 professional MMA bouts too under his combat sports credentials will now make his UFC debut this Saturday at UFC 268 in Madison Square Garden, New York.
Pereira is known as the man who knocked out Israel Adesanya and defeated him twice in Adesanya’s kickboxing career. Since his transition into MMA, Adesanya has not been even close to being knocked down in his career and eventually had a 20 fight win streak before losing his first bout and that too via decision. Adesanya is currently UFC’s middleweight champion.
Pereira first made his MMA debut back in 2015 when he lost to Quemuel Ottoni via submission since Pereira was less used to the grappling aspect of the sport back then. After competing twice in 2016, Pereira returned to MMA in November of 2020 where he won via knockout and overall, he is on a three-fight win streak.
What is Alex Pereira’s goal coming into the UFC and why it’s not defeating Israel Adesanya again?
Alex Pereira had his first pre-fight media scrum for UFC 268 where he detailed his opponent and ambitions coming into the promotion. He explicitly stated via his translator “I didn’t come here after Adesanya, I came here to be a champion. Who knows, maybe by the time I get there he’s no longer the champion anymore.”
“So I’m just taking it to step by step. I just got to the organization and I’m just aiming to be a champion here. If I get there and it’s him, fine. If it’s not him, I’ll work with what I have,” Pereira continued. Pereira also talked about his UFC 268 opponent Andreas Michailidis. Pereira believes although his striking will be too much for Michailidis, the latter is also not good at wrestling either and won’t be able to take the former down to put his Jiu-Jitsu to his advantage over Pereira.
As of now, while Pereira makes his debut, Adesanya is in the works by the UFC to be put in a rematch and defend his belt against former middleweight champion Robert Whittaker early next year. Who do you think will win in a trilogy between Pereira and Adesanya, will it be no different or Adesanya will prove something different as an elite mixed-martial artist?