Alex Pereira is a UFC champion, again
At UFC 295 this weekend Alex Pereira added a second UFC belt to his collection with an emphatic win over Jiri Prochazka. The former UFC middleweight champ dropped Prochazka with leg kicks before finding a home for his fabled left hook. Once that fist of stone landed in the second, Pereira was able to swarm Prochazka and finish him off with elbows on the ground.
The win made Alex Pereira the new UFC light heavyweight champion. That belt was free after past champ Jamahal Hill vacated the belt due to a serious injury. Hill had won the title from Pereira’s mentor Glover Teixeira, which was vacant at the time because Prochazka had vacated the belt due to a serious injury (Prochazka won the belt from Teixeira in 2022).
On the heels of that TKO win, Pereira told Joe Rogan (and anyone who was watching) exactly who he wants to fight next.
“Israel Adesanya, come to daddy,” challenged the Brazilian.
One person hated that Israel Adesanya call out
Sitting at home and watching the action unfold was former UFC light heavyweight champion Jan Blachowicz. When he saw his former foe Alex Pereira claim his old belt, the Polish fighter offered a loaded back-handed compliment.
“I know you’re a slimy one,” wrote Blachowicz on X. “Calling out Izzy. Great performance and all but STFU, we have unfinished business you and I. The judges won’t give you hand outs next time. Pathetic.”
Blachowicz followed up his unusually terse message with a clarification.
“I see I need to clarify,” wrote Blachowicz (again on X). “People see me that I’m a nice guy all the time. But sometimes I get pissed off, like everyone in life. I’m still super angry that they stole my W against Pereira. Now he calls out Adesanya again. Give it a rest already. We’ve been there 4 times!”
“This is LHW and that split decision means we have unfinished business here,” wrote Blachowicz in a second post. “I’m just saying what I feel. Don’t blame me for it. Just letting you know this. This is all from me. I’m going back to the gym. Got a new opponent and a job to do.”
Pereira and Blachowicz fought to a close decision this year
Alex Pereira fought Jan Blachowicz at UFC 291 in July, with a spot to compete for the vacant UFC light heavyweight belt on the line.
This was Pereira’s 205 lb debut with the UFC. He won the fight by split decision, a result most media members agreed with (per MMA Decisions).
Blachowicz became UFC light heavyweight champion back in 2020, TKO’ing Dominick Reyes to win the title months after Jon Jones vacated the belt so he could move up to heavyweight.
His first defence was against Israel Adesanya at UFC 259. He then lost the belt, via submission, to Glover Teixeira a few months later.
Since that loss Blachowicz won a funky injury forced TKO over Aleksander Rakic and fought to a dull split draw with Magomed Ankalaev.
Alex Pereira vs. Israel Adesanya is a rivalry for the ages
It shouldn’t be too surprising that Pereira would call out Adesanya. The pair have history which spans two promotions and two sports.
Their first encounter was in 2016 during a GLORY kickboxing card in China. Pereira won that fight by unanimous decision. The pair met again a year later, in Sao Paulo, Brazil (again with GLORY).
Pereira handed Adesanya a famous KO in that bout. That was the only stoppage loss in Adesanya’s kickboxing career.
After Pereira was signed to the UFC, he won his first three bouts (including a KO win over current UFC middleweight champion Sean Strickland) to set up a title fight with Adesanya.
At UFC 281 last year Pereira KO’d Adesanya to win the middleweight title and become the only man in MMA to ever stop Adesanya. Adesanya took the belt back from Pereira earlier this year, scoring a KO win in the second round.
Adesanya then lost to Strickland and announced a hiatus from sport.
Despite all their history, it doesn’t seem like Adesanya is that interested in seeing Pereira again. So maybe Blachowicz will get his wish after all.
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