In just his fourth UFC fight, Alex Pereira became the UFC’s undisputed middleweight champion. The Brazilian did it in spectacular fashion with a fifth-round TKO win over Israel Adesanya at UFC 281 on Saturday.
“Poatan” has been a force to reckon with back in his kickboxing days, and he continued this upon his transition to MMA. But for this biggest win, observers like Daniel Cormier are giving extra credit to Glover Teixeira, who’s been in Pereira’s camp for UFC 281.
“I think the key was Glover Teixeira and his team letting Alex Pereira know, very sternly, ‘If you want to be the champion, you’ve got five minutes,” Cormier said on his YouTube channel (transcript by MMA Fighting). “You’ve got to lay it all out there.’ And that’s exactly what he did.
“He went out there and threw caution to the wind. Generally, we don’t see guys press Adesanya that much, because the danger in him countering is so great that they don’t want to risk it. Well tonight, Pereira knew that if he didn’t risk it, he was going to lose the fight, and he got the job done in round five.”
Based on Pereira’s performance and how his team worked together, Cormier dismissed the idea that a fighter needs to be a part of a big team to get to the top of the mountain.
“Glover Teixeira fights next month for the championship and guys, that little gym in Connecticut may have two UFC champions. That’s what tells you, it’s not about the big gym as much as it used to be.
“It’s about putting yourself in a situation where you can be successful, and that’s exactly what Glover and them are doing right now.”
The 43-year-old Teixeira is slated to take on Jiri Prochazka in a rematch for the light heavyweight title. The fight serves as the headliner for UFC 282 on December 10 in Las Vegas.
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