Alex Pereira faces former champion in light heavyweight debut at UFC 291

Alex Pereira will face a former undisputed champion in his light heavyweight debut at UFC 291.

By: Milan Ordoñez | 2 weeks ago
Alex Pereira faces former champion in light heavyweight debut at UFC 291

Alex Pereira is immediately thrown into the deep end in his light heavyweight debut. “Poatan,” who is fresh off a knockout loss at the hands of Israel Adesanya at UFC 287, will face fellow ex-champion Jan Blachowicz for his first jump at 205 pounds.

Jan Blachowicz vs. Alex Pereira will be part of what looks to be a heavily-stacked card that is UFC 291

Jan Blachowicz vs. Alex Pereira co-headlines UFC 291

UFC president Dana White himself made the announcement via social media on Tuesday night. 

“The co-main event will feature two of the best knockout artists in the world,” White said of the Blachowicz-Pereira pairing. 

Blachowicz, who lost the UFC light heavyweight title to Glover Teixeira in 2021, last competed at UFC 282 last December against Magomed Ankalaev for the then vacant 205-pound belt. The bout ended in a controversial draw, but Ankalaev believes he should’ve been the rightful winner

As for Alex Pereira, he decided to make the jump after losing to Adesanya. He says moving up was a “great option,” but he is keeping the door open for a third UFC fight against “The Last Style Bender.” 

“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,” Pereira said of Adesanya.   

“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.”

UFC 291 is shaping up

If all matchups go according to plan, UFC 291 could be a banger of a card. At the top of the bill is a rematch between top-ranked lightweights Justin Gaethje and Dustin Poirier, with the now-vacant ‘BMF’ title on the line upon Jorge Masvidal’s retirement. 

Right before the Alex Pereira-Jan Blachowicz bout is the return Paulo Costa, who’s had his battles with the organization due to contract issues. He will face Dagestan’s Ikram Aliskerov.

“Borrachinha” hasn’t fought since his UFC 278 in August 2022, where he won against former champion Luke Rockhold. Both men took home a $50K bonus for Fight of the Night. 

Also part of the card is the return of fan-favorite Tony Ferguson, who faces Bobby “King” Green in a lightweight contest. “El Cucuy” is coming off a fourth-round submission loss to Nate Diaz last September and is looking to snap a five-fight losing streak. 

UFC 291 happens on July 29th in Salt Lake City, Utah. 

Alex Pereira’s MMA record

The 35-year-old Pereira has nine pro MMA bouts under his belt currently. His first three bouts were back in 2015 and 2016 with the Brazilian outfit Jungle Fight. He lost his first pro bout by submission, but then won his next with strikes.

After those fights he focused on kickboxing, to great effect (winning the middleweight and light heavyweight titles in Glory and scoring two famous wins over Israel Adesanya).

He returned to the cage in 2020 with the LFA organization. He won his sole fight in LFA via stunning KO. He was signed to the UFC shortly after.

In the Octagon he has amassed a 4-1 record, taking his overall MMA record to 7-2. His UFC wins have come against Andreas Michailidis, Bruno Silva, Sean Strickland and Adesanya. He lost to Adesanya at UFC 287 in April.

Bloody Elbow Archives

Join the new Bloody Elbow

Subscribe to our Substack!

Share this story

About the author
Milan Ordoñez
Milan Ordoñez

Milan Ordoñez has been covering combat sports since 2012 and has been part of the Bloody Elbow staff since 2016. He’s also competed in amateur mixed martial arts and submission grappling tournaments.

More from the author

Recent Stories