It has been a difficult couple of days for former UFC middleweight champion Alex Pereira. Not only did ‘Poatan’ lose his belt in brutal fashion to longtime rival Israel Adesanya, the Brazilian also had to deal with the ‘Last Stylebender’ taunting his 12-year-old son shortly after the knockout at UFC 287.
That’s not the end of things, unfortunately. Adding insult to injury, Alex Pereira now finds himself on the receiving end of harsh criticism from fellow athletes who were not pleased with the way the Brazilian carried himself in the cage at UFC 287. One of those is Olympic medalist boxer Esquiva Falcao, who won a silver medal in the 2012 games, in London, England.
Olympic medalist Esquiva Falcao was highly critical of Alex Pereira
On his official YouTube channel, Esquiva Falcao took aim at the former Glory champion’s performance, to the point of saying his fellow countryman needs to learn some basic striking skills before his next fight. Though Falcao acknowledged that Pereira has impressive, fight-ending knockout power, the boxer was disappointed in Poatan’s lack of technical craft and seeming reliance on power alone to finish fights.
“Poatan has a powerful hook. When his hand lands, it’s over,” Esquiva Falcao explained. “That’s what happened in his second to last fight against Adesanya, but he was losing the fight. Poatan has no movement. He can’t move, evade strikes, throw combos. He doesn’t know anything. The UFC is not kickboxing.”
“I advise Alex to join a boxing school and forget those kickboxing guys,” Falcao said. “He already knows how to kickbox. He needs to improve his technique, his hips, legs and head movement so he can evade strikes. Combos, too. That’s how you fight. You don’t just wait for one shot to win by knockout,”
Despite the criticism, Falcao admits that he really only got so upset because he was cheering for the Teixeira MMA & Fitness fighter to win and retain his title against Adesanya. However, when Poatan suffered the loss—especially the way he did—Esquiva says he has lost all hope in Alex Pereira, and now thinks that he will never defeat Adesanya again.
“I was cheering for him to win, because I’m a Brazilian,” Esquiva said. “I knew what was going to happen, though. Adesanya will never lose to Poatan again. You may lose 10 times, but you know that the day you win, you will never lose again. People might say I’m exaggerating. I’m an athlete. I know this.”
Esquiva Falcao is undefeated as a professional
Falcao (30-0, 20 knockouts) won the middleweight silver medal in boxing at the 2012 Olympic games when he lost in the divisional final to Ryota Murata by just one point. At the moment, the 33-year-old is expected to take on Vincenzo Gualtieri for the vacant IBF middleweight belt. Most recently, Esquiva defeated Cristian Fabian Rios via unanimous decision, back in May 2022.
Esquiva is also the younger brother of 2012 Olympic games light heavyweight bronze medalist boxer Yamaguchi Falcao. Both athletes are sons of famous former boxer and vale-tudo fighter Adegard Camara Florentino, better known for his nickname ‘Touro Moreno’ (Dark-skinned Bull).
Pereira still holds three wins over Adesanya
Meanwhile, Alex Pereira (7-2) suffered his first UFC loss and had his seven-fight win streak snapped by the knockout loss. In the Octagon, the 35-year-old holds wins over Andreas Michailidis, Bruno Silva, Sean Strickland and, of course, the City Kickboxing phenom. Alex Pereira’s only other loss in MMA took place in October 2015, when he got submitted by Quemuel Ottoni, at Jungle Fight 82.
Despite this setback, Pereira still holds the longterm edge in the rivalry, having defeated the Last Stylebender twice in kickboxing, in March 2017 and April 2016. Surprisingly, however, both Adesanya and UFC President Dana White sound disinterested in the idea of keeping the contest alive, with White even suggesting that Pereira will move to light heavyweight soon.
About the author