Alex Pereira has moved on from the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Middleweight division he briefly reigned over as champion, and will make his Light Heavyweight debut at UFC 291 on July 29, 2023.
Some people (and peers) questioned Pereira’s decision to move up. Why leave a division where you’re 1-1 over the current champion (and 3-1 across all combat sports)? Will Pereira’s fearsome power translate from 185 to 205 pounds? Can he hang with the big boys at 205 pounds?
These are all reasonable things to ask, but as far as Pereira’s mentor and friend, Glover Teixeira, is concerned, it’s the right move. Teixeira spoke after winning his UFC Fight Pass Invitational 4 match against Anthony Smith (watch highlights) and shared an update on just how big “Poatan” is these days.
Glover Teixeira is happy Alex Pereira moved to Light Heavyweight and says Alex is 230 lbs right now with 8% body fat pic.twitter.com/4QCUK420KV— MMA Mania (@mmamania) June 30, 2023
“Yeah I like him going to light heavyweight,” Teixeira said. “I’m the first guy to say, and when he say he was going to light heavyweight I was like, ‘I love it that you’re going to light heavyweight,’ because I don’t want to see him cutting that much weight. You don’t know how much that guy cut. He’s at 230 pounds right now and he’s lean. He’s probably eight percent body fat. And for him to drop to 185 is crazy ... crazy.”
“Like I cut weight, I don’t cut that much, I know how hard it is. And as you get older, it gets harder and harder. And then eventually can be bad for your health. And I don’t want him in that position. So, I’m glad.”
With his size and strength, Pereira was regularly accused of being a “weight bully,” someone whose success came from his ability to cut down to lighter weightclasses where he could dominate with strength over skill. That theory will be tested when he fights someone his own size: Jan Blachowicz, who held the Light Heavyweight title from Sept. 2020 to Oct. 2021.
“Poatan” will have some valuable insight into how to beat Blachowicz. Indeed, tt was Teixeira who took the belt off the Polish fighter. He defeated Blachowicz via rear-naked choke in the third round of their UFC 267 fight. He’s also got Israel Adesanya’s advice, although given how Adesanya vs. Blachowicz went, we’d listen to Teixeira.
Remember that MMAmania.com will deliver LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire UFC 291 fight card right here, starting with the early ESPN+ “Prelims” matches online, which are scheduled to begin at 6:30 p.m. ET, then the remaining undercard on ESPN/ESPN+/ABC at 8 p.m. ET, before the PPV main card start time at 10 p.m. ET on ESPN+ PPV.
To check out the latest and greatest UFC 291: “Poirier vs. Gaethje 2”” news and notes be sure to hit up our comprehensive event archive right here.