Established to return in a prospective No. 1 contender bout in opposition to Sean Strickland on July 2 — the exact night Pereira’s pointed out rival, Israel Adesanya, is anticipated to defend his UFC middleweight title towards Jared Cannonier — “Poatan” is out to dominate.
“Honestly, I’m not pondering about a knockout,” Pereira said on this week’s episode of MMA Preventing podcast Trocação Franca. “If it is a combat [that ends] by conclusion, profitable obviously, I’d want it. I want feel [the fight], you know? Just like the [Bruno Santos] struggle — 3 rounds, a war, him seeking to just take me down and myself defending it. If I get taken down, I’m obtaining back again up and probably using him down as properly.”
Pereira is a previous two-division winner in GLORY who walked absent from kickboxing to emphasis complete-time on his MMA profession in 2021. Right after heading 2- in his first two UFC bouts, which include a breathtaking flying-knee knockout of Andreas Michailidis in his octagon debut, Pereira could receive a shot at the title with a get at UFC 276. That retains even much more legitimate if Adesanya emerges victorious versus Cannonier, as Pereira has defeated “The Last Stylebender” two times in kickboxing and the two keep on to have a fiery rivalry.
Strickland, on the other hand, is gunning for his opportunity at UFC gold following winning six straight bouts, most recently in a five-round final decision about Jack Hermansson.
“He’s a dangerous person, quite rough,” Pereira stated of Strickland. “But, with my battling type, I consider it’s a wonderful combat for me. He will come ahead prepared to engage, you know? He wishes to acquire. That motivates me a whole lot. I feel my approach could be improved than his.”
Pereira is only a blue belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu and thinks Strickland will “insist” on approaching the battle with takedowns in head. The previous kickboxing star said he may possibly also showcase his have grappling acumen, but only when it is not just a “waste of power.”
“I see lots of openings in his activity. There are so lots of things I can do there,” Pereira mentioned of Strickland, who has not dropped given that a initial-spherical knockout to welterweight Elizeu Zaleski in 2018. “Even that struggle he lost to the Brazilian with a spinning kick, he’s finding a good deal of experience because. Possibly it was not just that he moved up in fat, I think he’s evolving. 6 fights [since then] is a great deal, you know?”
In a prior job interview with Trocação Franca, Pereira stated Adesanya was “scared s***” of struggling with him in MMA and predicted the champ would operate from him.
A few months later, Pereira is all set for his shot.
“I really do not know what will materialize [after UFC 276],” Pereira reported. “People have been asking for the Adesanya struggle and the title fight ever given that I signed [with the UFC]. I arrived in declaring I desired to combat for the belt against whoever held it, and he’s there. I really do not know how it’s heading to be, but I’ll be completely ready for a single, two, three, how a lot of a lot more fights the firm would like me to take. But we can see it’s currently being a brief approach. I’m all set [now].”
Will Adesanya depart the T-Cell Arena in Las Vegas as the reining 185-pound king, nevertheless?
Pereira believes it’ll be rough for any middleweight other than him to conquer the UFC champion at the moment, and he broke down accurately how he thinks Adesanya will defeat Cannonier.
“What will make the change in this struggle is the kick to the thigh,” Pereira reported. “[People will say,] ‘But Alex, he won by head kick KO or a knee.’ But seem at how it commenced, how [Cannonier] is acting just after these kicks. It is difficult to damage someone with the fingers. You KO people with the hands, you know? The kick is intended to hurt.
“What is Adesanya is likely to do [against me]? Kick me? I’ll protect it. The protection I do, it hurts people as very well. He does that properly, he hurts men and women. I won’t mention names below, but you can see people today he’s fought. [And people] will never ever speak about this kick [to the thigh].”