Ex-UFC champion Alex Pereira plans to learn English with ‘crazy’ but ‘nice’ former opponent

Former UFC middleweight champion Alex Pereira plans to learn English with a previous opponent whom he described as a "crazy" but "nice guy."

By: Milan Ordoñez | 4 months ago
Ex-UFC champion Alex Pereira plans to learn English with ‘crazy’ but ‘nice’ former opponent
IMAGO | Zuma

Former UFC middleweight champion Alex Pereira is one of the handful of Brazilian fighters on the roster who has yet to improve on his English-speaking skills. But “Poatan” is planning to change that soon as he even handpicked a rather interesting individual to teach him the language. 

Pereira appeared on the MMA Hour this week where he also discussed a possible MMA trilogy with current title holder Israel Adesanya. 

Alex Pereira picks his English teacher

As Pereira told Ariel Helwani through a translator, he will welcome a visitor to his Connecticut gym in the coming week to not only train, but to learn English, as well.

“Sean Strickland’s coming to Connecticut next week for one week to train with me for his next fight. I’m going to learn English with Sean Strickland.” 

Strickland, of course, is known for his hot takes and quotable quotes, which for many can be off-putting. Pereira, however, is looking past that because according to him, “Tarzan” has so far been respectful towards him. 

“He’s a bit crazy, but he’s a nice guy,” he said of Strickland. “He talks against people, but he always treats me with respect.”

Sean Strickland as a mentor?

Alex Pereira’s choice for an English teacher caught Helwani by surprise. Strickland has had his moments which could be too extreme for some. Here’s what he said about his chosen profession during a media scrum in December ahead of his headliner with Jared Cannonier. 

“I love my job, but I’m not gonna go looking in a f—ng mirror and think I’m like some f—ng… I’m Lebron James. I’m not,” he said. 

“I’m a f—ng prostitute. I take my f—ng clothes off, Dana says go fight that guy. I’m like, ‘alright, Dana. How much?’ And he gives me a number, and I’m like, ‘F—k it, let’s go, Dana! I’ll fight that motherf—r!’

“I’m not disillusioned with what I am.”

But Pereira may be right about Strickland’s show of respect for him. 

“He’s a f—king big motherf—king Brazilian who hits like f—king dynamite,” Strickland said of Alex Pereira in another December interview. “I mean, f—k. 

“I’ll give you guys a pointer: You stand in front of that motherf—ker and bang, somebody is going to sleep and it’s most likely going to be you.” 

Alex Pereira and Sean Strickland’s next fights

Fresh off his win over Nassourdine Imavov in January for his light heavyweight debut, Strickland is going back down to middleweight. He will make his Octagon return on July 1st when he headlines UFC Vegas 76 against Abus Magomedov. It’s a match-up that’s questionable for many but UFC president Dana White sees as a way to “challenge” his fighters

As for Pereira, he will make his light heavyweight debut against fellow ex-champion Jan Blachowicz at the co-main event of UFC 291. But he still sees a possible third fight with “The Last Stylebender.” 

“Maybe we fight at light heavyweight, maybe we’ll fight at middleweight,” Pereira said of a third fight with Adesanya. “From now on, I want to let everybody know, I’m able to make [185 pounds] any time I want. 

“But the way that I was making the weight over and over again in a short span of time, I needed a break so my body can perform better in the weight class.”

For now, UFC 291 will be Alex Pereira’s main priority. It takes place on July 29th in Salt Lake City. Headlining the event is a rematch between Justin Gaethje and Dustin Poirier with the BMF title on the line. 

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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.

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