Alex Pereira has become one of the most hyped fighters to come into Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) in recent memory and for good reason. The former kickboxing champion is one of the best strikers in the world today and someone who has already knocked out current UFC middleweight king Israel Adesanya.
While Pereira can’t lean on his past success forever it has helped create significant buzz around his fights. That applies to his upcoming battle with fellow Brazilian knockout artist Bruno Silva later tonight (Sat., Mar. 12, 2022) at UFC Vegas 50 live on ESPN+ from inside UFC Apex in Las Vegas, Nevada.
It will be Pereira’s second trip to the famed Octagon after making his debut at UFC 268 this past November from inside Madison Square Garden in New York City. Pereira ended up flattening his opponent, Andreas Michailidis, with a flying-knee TKO in the second round (highlights HERE). The performance put the UFC middleweight division on notice and solidified the hype surrounding Pereira.
“My UFC debut was everything I expected,” Pereira told UFC.com. “I didn’t know exactly how it would happen, whether it was going to be a knockout by a knee or any other blow, but I was very confident because I was training hard for my debut,” Pereira told UFC.com. “For me, it was very important to fight at Madison Square Garden because there were many names that competed there before, and I managed to put on a show for the fans that were there and everyone that was watching. That was important to me.”
Pereira, 34, will have another opportunity to score a highlight-reel finish when the world-class striker takes on Silva tonight at UFC Vegas 50. Silva has recorded three-straight knockout finishes to start is own UFC career so he’s certainly no slouch on the feet, but the matchup should present Pereira with some big openings.
“Bruno said he’s going to come to knock me out, to throw hands. He might try to do that, but depending on how I behave in the Octagon, he might change his strategy,” Pereira said. “He is a guy who, even before fighting in the UFC, has been showing why he’s respected. In the UFC, he already has those three wins by knockout. He’s a kid who deserves people giving him all these compliments. I think it’s going to be a tough fight, but I prepared a lot for it, and I want to come out with the win.”
Pereira, who is no stranger to big fights and pressure-filled situations, is hoping to inch his way closer towards title contention in the UFC’s middleweight division. While Pereira would love the chance to fight Adesanya again for a world championship he’ll be happy to get to the big dance either way. That said, Pereira plans on taking one fight at a time and promises not to look past any opponent UFC puts in his way.
“I only have plans until this next fight and I won’t know what’s next until after this fight,” Pereira said. “Yes, I want to be a champion. Since I joined the UFC, I joined to become the champion. It doesn’t matter if it’s Israel Adesanya or whoever it is, I want to work and become champion. Every time I win, I will definitely be closer.”
MMAmania.com will deliver LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire UFC Vegas 50 fight card RIGHT HERE, starting with the ESPN+ preliminary card bouts at 4 p.m. ET, followed by the ESPN+ main card start time at 7 p.m. ET.
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