Former middleweight champion Alex Pereira officially announced that his next fight will take place in the 205-pound light heavyweight division.
Pereira (7-2) made his octagon debut at UFC 268 in November 2021 and earned a ‘Performance of the Night’ bonus for his flying knee finish of Andreas Michailidis. After defeating Bruno Silva in his second UFC appearance, Pereira took out Sean Strickland by knockout earning his second bonuses in three fights.
With the win over Strickland, Pereira was lined up to fight for the title against Israel Adesanya, a person he had already beaten twice in kickboxing. Pereira rallied from behind to finish Adesanya in the final round of the UFC 281 main event to capture the championship and earn a third win over ‘The Last Stylebender.’
The win over Adesanya set up a rematch between the two and gave Adesanya one last chance to try to defeat ‘Poatan.’ Adesanya knocked out Pereira in the second round of the UFC 287 main event to recapture the 185-pound championship.
Talks of Pereira moving up to the light heavyweight division began before the UFC 287 loss to Adesanya. He’s big for the division and cuts a lot of weight. On Wednesday, Pereira made it official and announced that his next fight with be in the 205-pound weight class.
Pereira officially announces move to light heavyweight
“My next fight will be in 205,” Pereira announced on his YouTube channel. “Yeah, you heard right. My next fight will be ini 205.”
“I think I did my work in 185 and now I’m feeling good to go up to 205,” Pereira continued. “My next opponent I can’t tell you yet but I will keep you updated here on my channel.”
While his next fight will take place in the light heavyweight division, Pereira isn’t ruling out a third fight with Adesanya inside the octagon.
“All of you saw there provocation from Adesanya after the fight, he acts as if he’s won against my three times. But it’s not this. But I understand, or try to understand the happiness he has. It was his dream to win one time against me and now he did,” said Pereira.
“I’m going up to light heavyweight because it’s a good option for me. But I’m sure if I would stay in the division I can fight against him directly. Let’s see how he behaves,” added Pereira. “I’m not going up because I can’t make the weight anymore. I will always be able to make 185. Let’s see the behavior of him.
“He’s behaving like this because Dana [White] spoke after my fight about my weight and seems like he’s thinking, ‘Oh, this guy will never make weight again. I can provoke him because he won’t do anything. I’m sure, if I insist to fight him immediately the UFC and my promoters will make it happen.”