UFC just had a big name added to their roster, Alex Pereira who is a former Glory two-division champion (Middleweight and Light-Heavyweight) so in terms of pure stand-up striking, this might one of the best guys on the roster. He is also known as the only guy to knock out current UFC, Israel Adesanya.
You heard it right, Israel Adesanya got knocked out once in his combat sports career and it is on the hands of none other than Alex Pereira. He recently posted on his Instagram of him signing the official contract that he is indeed a UFC fighter.
Although MMA is not something new to Pereira, he already has 4 fights on his resume, with a record of 3-1. In his MMA debut, he lost via submission but then went on a three-fight win streak all ended in a knockout. It will be interesting how Pereira will transition from kickboxing to MMA but this time on the biggest stage which is the UFC.
Many are already saying that Adesanya is scared to fight Pereira but do note that MMA is a totally different sport compared to just kickboxing. Fighters need to set up more and takedowns are a huge factor. Adesanya has shown to adapt to wrestling better as he has beaten every middleweight he faced and some of them were elite wrestlers.
Alex Pereira on the other hand is coming off a split decision loss against Artem Vakhitov. It was actually a rematch. Although Pereira won the first in also a split decision, it would have been better for his intro to UFC had he won his last fight. Nevertheless, UFC fans are excited to watch Alex Pereira fight inside the Octagon.
How successful will Pereira be in the UFC? Will he adapt and become a well-rounded fighter or will he end up like a one-dimensional fighter that is going to get outwrestled? That is the beauty of MMA, the fighter may be the best at one field but it is still not enough to become a UFC world champion.
The middleweight division has a lot of mixed fighters ranging from elite strikers, wrestlers, grapplers. Israel Adesanya is the reigning champion and might likely face Robert Whittaker next. As for Pereira, he is scheduled to face Andreas Michailidis at UFC 268, it will be a massive UFC debut and he needs to make a statement in order if he wants to leap through the rankings.