Photo: ‘Very productive’ Alex Pereira towers over Sean Strickland

Former champion Alex Pereira is training with old opponent Sean Strickland.

By: Lucas Rezende | 4 months ago
Photo: ‘Very productive’ Alex Pereira towers over Sean Strickland
IMAGO/ZUMA WIRE: Alex Pereira knocked out Sean Strickland in July 2022.

Former UFC middleweight champion Alex Pereira’s surprising partnership with former opponent Sean Strickland looks like it’s continuing to develop. Having knocked out ‘Tarzan’ in the first round when they met back in July 2022, ‘Poatan’ went on record with plans to train with Strickland in the future, even saying he would look to get some English lessons from the fellow UFC fighter.

It seems as though the Brazilian has kept his word. On his official Twitter, Pereira shared a picture of a training session between himself and Strickland. Most notable from the photo is the absurd size difference between the newly minted light heavyweight contender and the former welterweight fighter.

Alongside the photo, Pereira gave some props to his new gym buddy:

“Thanks for the training today, Sean Strickland. This will be a very productive week.” Pereira wrote.

Pereira hopes to get some English lessons from Strickland

Back at the beginning of June, Pereira let fans know Strickland was headed out to Glover Teixeira’s gym (and Pereira’s homebase camp in Connecticut), noting that he’d be taking opportunity to learn some English from the foul-mouthed top-ranked middleweight. Though Strickland is known for his controversial statements and seeming complete lack of filter, the Brazilian emphasizing how Strickland never disrespected him.

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

Strickland has nothing but respect for Pereira

In an older interview, Strickland praised Alex Pereira for his striking kills and his knockout power. Having landed on the wrong end of one of the former Kickboxing star’s famed left hooks, the Xtreme Couture talent had some advice for any athlete who may take on Poatan in the future.

“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.” 

Both Pereira and Strickland are fighting in July

In his last outing, Pereira (7-2) lost the UFC middleweight title via KO to longtime rival Israel Adesanya. That loss marked the Brazilian’s first defeat in the Octagon and snapped a four fight winning streak in the UFC. During that time, the 35-year-old scored wins over the aforementioned Adesanya and Strickland, as well as Bruno Silva and Andreas Michailidis.

Meanwhile, Sean Strickland (26-5) scored a unanimous decision win over Nassourdine Imavov in his last match, back in January 2023. The victory snapped a two-fight losing skid for the 32-year-old, with losses to Pereira and Jared Cannonier.

Alex Pereira is expected to face former light heavyweight champion Jan Blachowicz at UFC 291. The July 29 card is scheduled to be headlined by a lightweight match for the BMF title, between former interim champions Justin Gaethje and Dustin Poirier.

As for Sean Strickland, the middleweight is set to face Abusupiyan Magomedov at UFC Vegas 76’s main event, on July 1.

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About the author
Lucas Rezende
Lucas Rezende

Lucas Rezende is a Brazilian journalist and writer from Belem, Para. He has been covering MMA since 2012 and contributing with Bloody Elbow since March 2015. When not writing, Lucas also teaches English. In his free time, he enjoys reading, slapping the bass guitar and traveling.

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