Former UFC middleweight champ Alex Pereira officially announces move to light heavyweight

Alex Pereira, two division UFC champion?

By: Anton Tabuena | 11 months
Former UFC middleweight champ Alex Pereira officially announces move to light heavyweight
Photo by IMAGO Images / Louis Grasse

Alex Pereira may have just lost his middleweight belt to his longterm rival Israel Adesanya at UFC 287, but he already has his next moved planned. As “Potatan” officially announced, he will be moving up to light heavyweight on his next contest, will seemingly be gunning for a second championship.

Alex Pereira announces his move to 205 lbs.

“My next fight will be at 205!” Alex Pereira announced on his YouTube channel. “I think I did my job at 185 and now I’m feeling good to go up to 205. Like I told you, when I’m feeling good, I will go up. This will be something natural, and now I think it is.

“My next opponent, I can’t tell you yet, but I will keep you updated here on my channel,” he said.

“Also, I want to make one thing clear, this division, 185, I always made weight. A lot of people had doubts, but I always fulfilled my obligation. But now is the moment to go up to the next division. This will be better for me.”

Adesanya “acts as if he has won against me three times”

As expected, Alex Pereira also had a message for the rival he has already fought four times in both MMA and kickboxing. He made it clear that he felt that the move to light heavyweight is the right move for his career, not that he can’t make weight anymore.

“All of you saw the provocation from Adesanya after the fight. He acts as if he has won against me three times, but it’s not like this,” Pereira said. “But I understand, or try to understand the happiness he has. It was his dream to win one time against me, and now he did. But let’s see what will his behavior be. I’m going up to light heavyweight because it’s a good option for me, but I’m sure if I would stay in this division, I can fight against him directly.

“He’s behaving like this because Dana White spoke after my fight about my weight. And it seems like he is thinking ‘Oh, this guy will never make weight again. I can provoke him, because he won’t do anything.’ I’m sure if I insist on fighting him immediately, the UFC and my promoters will make it happen,” he continued.

“I’m going up because it’s my option, and I talked to my team, and they think as well it’s a great option for me, so I’m going up,” Pereira said. “I’m not going up because I can’t make the weight anymore. I will always be able to make 185.”

During his kickboxing career, Alex Pereira held both the Glory middleweight and light heavyweight titles, and it looks like his team wants to replicate that success in the UFC as well.

The last two champions at light heavyweight are both strikers, in current title holder Jamahal Hill and the man who vacated the belt due to injury in Jiri Prochazka. With the right match ups, it’s not hard to imagine a decorated striker in Alex Pereira finding success in the division leading up to a title fight against either man. Add the fact that Pereira is huge and now won’t have to cut much weight, and it makes sense why his team felt this is the good move at this point in his career.

It’s obviously still very early, but if Pereira does manage to win the belt at 205 lbs, it can also make a potential UFC trilogy with Adesanya even more appealing and lucrative in that division.

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About the author
Anton Tabuena
Anton Tabuena

Anton Tabuena is the Managing Editor for Bloody Elbow. He’s been covering MMA and combat sports since 2009, and has also fought in MMA, Muay Thai and kickboxing.

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