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Alex Pereira On Path Towards The Light Heavyweight Championship

MMA article at Knup Sports

Alex Pereira just made a huge announcement. What are the implications?

Last Saturday, Alex Pereira entered the octagon with hopes of defending his newly-acquired UFC Middleweight Championship from the former champ Israel Adesanya. In November 2022, the two squared off in a grueling match that Alex Pereira won in the final minutes with a TKO of Adesanya.

But Saturday in Miami, trouble was in the air for the champ. Adesanya had approached this fight with noticeable focus, determined to reclaim the middleweight belt. He did exactly that. In the final minute of the second round, Izzy caught Alex Pereira with a devastating right hook, then followed with additional strikes that knocked the Brazilian out cold.

Nowhere To Go But Up

Alex Pereira suddenly found himself without the belt and as just another one of Israel Adesanya’s many victims. Questions immediately began swirling around the dethroned middleweight regarding his future in the UFC. Would he stay in the 185-pound division and make another run at the title, or would he move up to 205?

The answer came Wednesday night via Alex Pereira’s Youtube channel, where he announced his next fight will be in the light heavyweight division. The move up to 205 pounds will allow Pereira to fight much closer to his natural weight.

When not cutting weight for a fight, the Brazilian walks around at 230 pounds, making eligibility to fight at middleweight a steep hill to climb. Not only is the cut itself difficult, but the toll it takes on Pereira’s body is a huge factor when in the octagon. There’s no question his chin and mind are compromised when at such a low weight, making him more prone to knockouts like the one Adesanya handed him last weekend.

A Challenger Approaches

Pereira seems much better suited for the light heavyweight division– which could use someone of his talent. Recently, the division has been somewhat dull. Jamahal Hill earned the title, but only after Jiri Prochazka forfeited it due to injury. The division is wide open with no single dominating force. Alex Pereira can certainly cause some noise with his knockout power.

It will be interesting to see how much Pereira has to do to earn a shot at the light heavyweight title. Jan Blachowicz, who is currently the number-3 ranked contender in the division, just proclaimed he is open to fighting Pereira. If that is indeed the Brazilian’s first fight in his new division, it will be quite a test.

But succeeding may give Alex Pereira a fast-track towards the light heavyweight belt. Who he fights when he gets there is an entirely different question. Jamahal Hill is sure to be challenged by someone before too long, whether that’s former champ Jiri Prochazka or Magomed Ankalaev, who argues the title was stolen from him by poor judgment.

Regardless of who crosses Alex Pereira’s path in the light heavyweight division, it’s sure to be a show-stopper. The Brazilian kickboxer’s incredible knockout power is a thing to behold. With more weight on his side, perhaps his opponents will be hitting the canvas harder than ever before.

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