The sensational striker jumped into mixed martial arts (MMA) in Oct. 2015 as part of Brazil’s Jungle Fight promotion, suffering a third round rear-naked choke submission loss right out the gate. Pereira has been perfect since then, winning five straight with his last two coming within the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Octagon.
A well-established kickboxer of more than 40 kickboxing matches, perhaps the two most notable wins of Pereira’s career came over current UFC Middleweight titleholder, Adesanya. Pereira earned a unanimous decision over “The Last Stylebender” in 2016 before following things up with a knockout win in their rematch.
Based on those past two fights alone, several members of the combat sports community believe Pereira is the one to dethrone one of MMA’s all-time greatest strikers.
“He’s ready,” UFC Light Heavyweight champion and teammate of Pereira’s, Glover Teixeira, told The Cornerman MMA (h/t MMA Junkie). “He’s definitely working his ground, he’s improving every time. He has very good standup, very good at the distance, and is just a very mature fighter. I think he’s ready to fight Adesanya right now. The next fight with Sean [Strickland], I think it’s going to be a great fight for Alex, and what he wants is to get there. To get there and fight.”
Pereira’s most recent win came by unanimous decision over Bruno Silva at UFC Vegas 50 earlier this month. The promotion has been impressed enough by the 34-year-old Sao Paulo, Brazil, native to now line him up against No. 4-ranked UFC contender, Sean Strickland at UFC 277 on July 30, 2022.
“I think Bruno for sure is tougher than Sean Strickland, in my opinion,” Teixeira said. “Just the striking, he hits very hard. I think Bruno for sure is tougher than Sean Strickland.”