Alex Pereira is itching to make his Light Heavyweight debut in mixed martial arts (MMA).
It took Pereira (7-2) next to no time to rise through Ultimate Fighting Championship’s (UFC) Middleweight ranks and capture gold. Unfortunately for “Poatan,” the outstanding kickboxer was unable to successfully defend his title, falling short in his rematch with Israel Adesanya this past month (April 8, 2023) via second round knockout (watch highlights).
Shortly after the loss, Pereira announced that he’d be heading to Light Heavyweight for his next bout. And it was revealed today that he’ll be welcomed by former division champion, Jan Blachowicz, at UFC 291 on July 29, 2023, in Salt Lake City, Utah.
For the 35-year-old Brazilian knockout artist, he expected nothing less.
“My next opponent will be Jan Blachowicz,” Pereira said on his YouTube channel. “He is a dangerous guy, an experienced guy, and a guy we know because of my training partner, Glover Teixeira, who fought him. I’m sure training hard and together with Glover, he will pass me a lot of stuff for sure like he is always doing.
“Everybody knows Blachowicz is a dangerous guy, an all-rounder, but I think it’s a good first fight for me,” he continued. “When I saw my first fight, some people will think, ‘Oh, that’s an easy opponent.’ No. All of you know my story. I was Middleweight champ. So, for sure, they wanted to give me one of the Top 5 ranked [guys]. For me, it wasn’t a surprise. We were negotiating a while, I was waiting for him. So, that’s it.”
In the wake of Adesanya vs. Pereira 2, Blachowicz expressed interest in chasing down a rematch with Adesanya at Middleweight for the title. Blachowicz’s first (and only) 205-pound title defense came over Adesanya via unanimous decision in March 2021.
Since Blachowicz lost the title in his following outing against Pereira’s mentor (Teixeira), the elder statesmen has since retired, putting full focus on coaching. Therefore, further fueling Pereira to get back on track.
“I’m happy about the fight,” Pereira said. “Now it’s time to focus on my trainings and continuing with the work I am doing. I’m counting on your support for this fight.”