Pereira has unconventional preference for Strickland fight outcome
Alex Pereira has scored some stunning knockouts during his combat sports career, but the Brazilian middleweight says he doesn’t need to add Sean Strickland to his list of finishes.
During an appearance on the mma fight podcast Trocação Francathe former GLORY kickboxing champion explained exactly how he wanted to beat Strickland at UFC 276.
“Honestly, I’m not thinking about a knockout. If it’s a fight [that ends] by decision, winning clearly, I would prefer that. I want to feel [the fight], you know? Just like the [Bruno Santos] fight – three rounds, one war, him trying to take me down and me defending him. If I get down, I get back up and maybe knock him down too.
Peireira’s answer is a notable departure from the predictions of first-round finishes often offered by fighters ahead of their fights. That being said, Peireira’s road to the UFC and a full-time MMA career hasn’t been exactly typical.
make the transition
After going 3-1 in MMA while prioritizing kickboxing, Pereira fully committed to the sport when he joined the UFC in 2021. All of his pre-UFC fights ended remotely, and his UFC debut lasted just over a round when he knocked out Andreas Michailidis with a flying knee.
The 34-year-old had his most complete performance as an MMA fighter in his last fight against Bruno Silva. “Poatan” was shot twice and had to overcome some adversity, but still managed to win 30-27 scorecards from all three judges for a unanimous decision victory.
Any time in the cage is precious at this point in his MMA career, and Pereira likes how his skills match Strickland.
“He’s a dangerous guy, very tough,” Pereira said. “But, with my fighting style, I think it’s a great fight for me. He shows up ready to commit, you know? He wants to win. It motivates me a lot. I think my technique could be better than his.
Strickland will look to extend his current six-fight winning streak with a win over the Brazilian, but much of the UFC 276 narrative will revolve around Pereira and UFC middleweight champion Israel Adesanya.
Pereira holds two wins over Adesanya since their time as kickboxers in GLORY. ‘The Last Stylebender’ is set to defend his middleweight title against Jared Cannonier in the main event of UFC 276, and Strickland’s winner against Pereira could be next in line for a shot at the middleweight belt.
What do you think of Alex Pereira’s ideal result for his fight against Sean Strickland?