Jamahal Hill doubts Alex Pereira’s punching power works at light heavyweight, but we have video evidence

Former middleweight champion Alex Pereira isn't expected to do as well as a light heavyweight fighter, according to champion Jamahal Hill.

By: Milan Ordoñez | 3 months ago

The list of Alex Pereira’s doubters as a light heavyweight fighter continues to grow. This time, the division’s champion himself Jamahal Hill isn’t expecting “Poatan” to be the same dominant force as he was a middleweight fighter. 

“Sweet Dreams” Hill recently spoke to Middle Easy and talked about how Alex Pereira’s punching power may hold up at 205 pounds. 

Alex Pereira may not be the same power puncher at 205, says Jamahal Hill

Alex Pereira made a strong impression in the UFC, winning three of his four fights via knockout and TKO. His most recent win happened against longtime rival Israel Adesanya in November 2022 where he won via fifth-round TKO. 

But after losing the belt to Adesanya, Pereira decided to move up in weight. And for reigning champion Jamahal Hill, that power he had at 185 pounds may not translate well. 

“His power is not going to count for as much as it was at the middleweight division,” Hill said (quotes via MMA Junkie). 

“At the middleweight division, whenever he hit them, they had to really, really address it. They couldn’t really roll it off. It made it harder to counter just because of the kind of power that he carried at middleweight. 

“I don’t think that’ll be the same case at 205. He has to be more of a tactician.”

From Hill’s observation, light heavyweight has more well-rounded fighters compared to the ‘specialists’ at middleweight. 

“I think the mixed martial arts skills, as far as well roundedness, being able to go from striking to grappling, is more well rounded in the 205 division than it is in the middleweight division.

“If you look at it, a lot of the guys in the middleweight division, they’re primarily specialists.”

Pereira was a Glory champion at light heavyweight

While Hill doubts his power carries over at light heavyweight, Pereira’s fight history actually suggests that it most likely will — even when using bigger gloves. Pereira was a simultaneous double champion in Glory, where he won two title fights against some of the best kickboxers in the world at light heavyweight.

Watch Pereira brutally KO Donegi Abena (who now holds the Glory title) with his patented left hook in 2019 to win the interim Glory light heavyweight belt:

Doubts about Alex Pereira’s light heavyweight move

Hill isn’t the first fighter to express doubts about Alex Pereira’s career move. Recently, former title challenger and veteran Anthony Smith gave his take

“I think he can do well, for sure. He’s going to have a tough time with some of the top guys, just with his skill set. But just in pure striking matches, I think he can do well,” Smith said in an interview. 

“I think Jan Blachowicz is a pretty tough matchup, if I’m being honest. I think it’s a really tough matchup. Yeah, I do [think Pereira loses that].”

“Lionheart” also believes Pereira loses to the current champ. 

“I think Jamahal Hill beats him too. “It’s a matchup thing, though. It’s a matchup thing. There’s a lot of guys at light heavyweight that he’ll beat and could look really great doing it. Jan Blachowicz is tough.”

Alex Pereira’s light heavyweight debut

Pereira’s light heavyweight debut happens at UFC 291 on July 29th in Utah. He will fight former champion Jan Blachowicz in the co-main event. 

Headlining the event is a rematch between former interim lightweight champions Dustin Poirier and Justin Gaethje. One of them will take home the currently-vacant BMF title. 

Also part of the card is the return of Tony Ferguson, who hasn’t fought since September 2022 against Nate Diaz. He will look to bounce back from a five-fight losing streak against Bobby Green.

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

Bloody Elbow Podcast
Related Stories