Recently, Daniel Cormier gave his take on UFC 291’s co-headliner between Alex Pereira and Jan Blachowicz. In a nutshell, ‘DC’ isn’t liking Pereira’s chances, just based on Blachowicz’s victories from a few years ago.
Now, ‘Poatan’ is firing back.
Cormier’s comments about Alex Pereira’s chances at UFC 291
In a recent episode of his weekly ESPN YouTube show with Ryan Clark, Cormier had this to say about Blachowicz vs. Pereira.
“We have seen Adesanya hurt Pereira in two fights. He can’t get hit by Jan Blachowicz. Blachowicz hits so hard.
“I have seen Blachowicz almost decapitate guys. Luke Rockhold, Dominick Reyes, the way that he was knocking out guys for a while was very scary.”
Blachowicz knocked out Rockhold in 2019 and Reyes in 2020. Since then, he’d gone on a 2-1-1 run, which included his title loss to Glover Teixeira in 2021.
Alex Pereira responds to Cormier
Alex Pereira had a chance to respond to Cormier’s comments in a recent episode of MMAFighting.com’s Trocação Franca podcast. For him, his upcoming opponent is merely a “normal fighter.”
“Did he knock out everyone he’s fought? I don’t think so, right?” Pereira said of Blachowicz. “If he was a guy who has knocked out everybody, I would say, ‘Damn.’ But no, he’s a normal fighter.
“A former champion, experienced and dangerous, but many people say [about me], ‘He was knocked out, he won’t come back the same.’ F–k, I beat Adesanya twice in kickboxing and once in MMA, a scary knockout in kickboxing, oxygen mask and everything, and he came back and beat me.”
Alex Pereira confident in his recovery from Adesanya loss
Alex Pereira suffered his first UFC loss via second-round KO in April, his first middleweight title defense against longtime rival Israel Adesanya. But he says he gave himself ample time to recover for his light heavyweight debut this weekend.
“Only if you’re a guy with a weak mind and that gets inside your head, then yes, the guy touches you and you go down. But there’s no such thing, man.
“[I] had good recovery. Of course, you got hit and that will affect you for a moment. Maybe if you train the next day or week and get hit, you’ll be weaker, but I think the way I did it, the recovery I had, everything I did was perfect.
“I think if [Blachowicz] lands a hand and I go down, it’s because I was supposed to go down, not because I got weak from the punch Adesanya landed.”
Pereira assesses Blachowicz vs. Adesanya
To further prove his point, Pereira looked back on the 2021 bout between Blachowicz and Adesanya. Blachowicz, who was the light heavyweight champion at the time, successfully defended the title via unanimous decision.
But for Alex Pereira, the fight showed some of the Polish fighter’s weaknesses.
“I was there for Blachowicz’s fight with Adesanya, and I think Adesanya controlled it and gave Blachowicz the opportunity to do what he did.
“It was a close fight and then he had that great advantage, taking him down and controlling the fight there. (Blachowicz) didn’t do much, but he was able to dominate on the ground.
“Maybe Adesanya would have pulled it off if he had been a bit more aggressive.”
UFC 291 at a glance
UFC 291 happens this Saturday in Salt Lake City, Utah, and it’s looking to be a blockbuster event on paper. Headlining the event is a rematch between former interim champions Dustin Poirier and Justin Gaethje, but this time, the two will fight for the vacant BMF belt.
Also part of the event is the return of Tony Ferguson, who faces Bobby Green. Stephen “Wonderboy” Thompson will likewise be on the main card, where he faces the flashy Michel Pereira.
Opening up the PPV card is a welterweight bout between TUF alum Michael Chiesa and Kevin Holland.
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