5 Defining UFC Moments for Alex Pereira

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In just over two years, Alex Pereira has become one of the UFC’s most prominent names. Capturing two titles in two weight classes and quickly becoming a fan favorite, his rise has been nothing short of meteoric. Before he steps in the Octagon as the headliner and defending champion at UFC 303, here are his five biggest UFC moments.

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Alex Pereira vs. Andreas Michailidis – UFC 268

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While Israel Adesanya was ruling over the middleweight division, stories of the man who defeated him twice in kickboxing would come up on occasion. At UFC 268 the subject of those stories would finally put his talents on display in the Octagon against Andreas Michailidis on the featured prelim. 

After doing his best to handle Michailidis’ takedowns and clinch tie ups, “Poatan” showed the fans exactly what kind of destructive qualities he possessed. Less than 20 seconds into the second round, Pereira landed a flying switch knee that quickly ended his opponent’s evening.

Alex Pereira vs. Sean Strickland – UFC 276

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In just his third fight in the UFC, Alex Pereira was getting a massive step up in competition against Sean Strickland. The intention behind the booking at UFC 276 was very clear. With Adesanya defending the title in the main event, a win would serve to promote a continuation of the cross-sport rivalry.

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Strickland learned the hard way that his usual method of walking down his opponent with disregard wasn’t foolproof. Pereira seemed largely unfazed by the approach as he was able to land power punches and leg kicks while avoiding much of the pressure. Any concerns about the pace were null and void when Poatan connected with a left hook and right cross in the first round that sent Strickland to the shadow realm. 

Alex Pereira vs. Israel Adesanya – UFC 281

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The interwoven career paths of Alex Pereira and Israel Adesanya led them to the main event of UFC 281. Having cleared most of the division at that point, the only perceived challenge for “The Last Stylebender” was the man who defeated him twice in another sport.

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For most of the five rounder, it was the typical Adesanya fight. The champ carefully picked his shots and got the better of most exchanges. But two minutes into the final round, Pereira landed a series of punches that led to the TKO stoppage in an MMA version of their 2017 bout at Glory of Heroes 7.

Alex Pereira vs. Jiri Prochazka – UFC 295

After enduring a massive weight cut to make 185 pounds and losing the title to Adesanya in a rematch, Pereira made the move to light heavyweight with a split decision win over Jan Blachowicz. His next fight at 205 pounds would be for the vacant title against another former champ, Jiri Prochazka. The combination of their stoic yet memorable personalities and knack for action-heavy affairs made for a chaotic collision. 

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As the second round was nearing its end, Prochazka’s hard right hand and subsequent charge turned into the perfect countering opportunity for Pereira. Two short hooks dropped Prochazka which led to the fight ending elbows as Poatan defended the reactive takedown attempt. The victory made him the ninth UFC fighter to win titles in multiple weight classes mirroring his championship success in Glory.

Alex Pereira vs. Jamahal Hill – UFC 300

With all due respect for Sean Strickland’s horribly conceived gameplan at UFC 276, Alex Pereira’s definitive knockout came two years and two title reigns later. In his first light heavyweight defense, Poatan met former champ Jamahal Hill.

In less than a round, Pereira would reduce his predecessor to a meme. After the fight was briefly interrupted due a foul, Pereira waved off Herb Dean and insisted on continuing. Just a moment later, he dropped a hammer on Hill that left him looking up at the arena lights with confusion.

Related: 10 Best Finishes of UFC 303 Including Alex Pereira’s KO of Jamahal Hill

Ant Walker is a native of the Washington DC area that now lives in Los Angeles. He has been... More about Anthony Walker

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