Former UFC middleweight champion Alex Pereira has had a productive week with previous opponent Sean Strickland. Having trained with ‘Tarzan’ for the past seven days, ‘Poatan’ says he has found a new respect for the American’s skills, which are sometimes hidden behind what the Brazilian defines as a ‘weird style’.
Alex Pereira learned from Sean Strickland
In a video posted on Alex Pereira’s official YouTube channel that shows tidbits of the week he spent with Strickland at the gym alongside UFC veteran and ex-ligth heavyweight champ Glover Teixeira, the Brazilian has nothing but praise for Tarzan. In fact, the former champion even admits he will implement some things he picked up from his old opponent into his skillset.
“This is my last day with Strickland. A tough guy. I was surprised with his high level on the ground. He surprised me. People say his style is kind of weird. People say that about me, too. After training with him, I’m starting to get it. They are things that work. He taught us some things that I’ll practice for sure because I saw that they are very effective.”
Pereira is confident Strickland will win his next fight
Now that Pereira could spend more time with Sean Strickland and see his skills and his mindset up close, Poatan has a new opinion about Tarzan. In fact, because of the time they spent together and the things he could see, the Brazilian is now fully confident that the American can win his next fight, which is scheduled for July 1st.
“I think his next fight will be a great one, but I’m betting on Strickland, because I could see how much he works. He doesn’t stop. Sometimes we’re in a situation that makes me think ‘Ok, now he’s going to stop. He’s going to give up.’ He doesn’t give up, though. Even on the feet. He’s a constant hassle. He gives you no room to breathe. He’s always on you. He’s well-rounded, but his ground game is what surprised me the most, because he never shows it. I could see a little bit of it this week.”
“I’m confident about his next fight.” Pereira said. “In the last one, he took it on short notice at light heavyweight. Three days of notice. He had just come off another fight, only had three weeks to rest. Then they called him, offered him the fight and he took it. Now he’s done the whole planning and at a weight class that’s right for him. He’s got everything to win this fight.”
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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