The ex-UFC middleweight champion smoothly transitioned to 205 pounds this past Saturday, marking a victory over previous light heavyweight champion Jan Blachowicz in a split decision at UFC 291. With Pereira and Blachowicz both boasting distinguished records — including Pereira’s two Glory Kickboxing titles — the assumption was that the victor of their face-off would secure a slot in a forthcoming light heavyweight title match.
Pereira is certainly open to this chance but during the post-fight press conference, he was questioned if he expected Adesanya to advance in weight category to maintain their longstanding competition.
“I disclosed my plans to take a hiatus from the weight class right before my last fight while I was making weight,” Pereira expressed through a Portuguese interpreter. “Cutting weight within a limited time frame was becoming challenging. Consequently, I ascended to light heavyweight. I plan to participate in another fight in this category, take a break from continuous weight reduction, and then return to the lower weight class, middleweight.
“In my opinion, we have a 1-1 tie at middleweight. I triumphed in one middleweight bout, Israel emerged victorious in another, so the logical step is to settle the score at middleweight.”
Pereira delivered a shock to the fight world at UFC 281 last November by overpowering Adesanya in a fifth-round knockout, securing the middleweight title in his eighth MMA fight. He had beaten Adesanya twice in kickboxing before. Adesanya avenged those losses with a knockout win of his own in their immediate rematch at UFC 287.
Pereira switched weight categories after these matches, rather than instantly chasing a third MMA bout with Adesanya. His recent victory over Blachowicz brings him closer to achieving the status of a two-division champion.
“Anyone,” Pereira stated. “For me, Jan was the toughest challenge possible. He’s a former champ, so I’m prepared to train and win against whoever they pit me against.”
Pereira’s towering physique over Blachowicz in the cage was hard to miss, raising questions about how “Poatan” was able to consistently cut down to 185 pounds.
Even though he relished not having to shed an additional 20 pounds, Pereira reiterated his readiness to endure it once more to level the score with Adesanya.
“I feel reenergized, rejuvenated compared to the past weight cuts, this one was only 20 to 30 percent of the previous ones,” Pereira said. “However, as mentioned earlier, I need a short break to recuperate and then I aim to settle some unfinished business at middleweight.”
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Alex Pereira Israel Adesanya trilogy
What is Alex Pereira’s current weight class?
Who did Alex Pereira recently fight against?
Alex Pereira recently fought against the former light heavyweight champion, Jan Blachowicz, at UFC 291 and won by split decision.
Does Alex Pereira plan to stay in the light heavyweight division?
While Alex Pereira is open to another fight in the light heavyweight division, he has expressed interest in returning to the middleweight class for a trilogy fight against Israel Adesanya. They currently have a 1-1 tie in the middleweight class.
Has Pereira previously fought Israel Adesanya in MMA fights?
Yes, Pereira and Adesanya have fought twice in MMA fights. Pereira won the first bout, claiming the middleweight title, and Adesanya won the rematch.
Why did Pereira change his weight class?
Pereira mentioned that making weight in a short span of time was becoming challenging, which led him to move up to the light heavyweight division. However, he is willing to return to the middleweight class for his unfinished business with Adesanya.