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Alex Pereira ‘happy’ with successful UFC debut, but knows he ‘still has much to learn’

Middleweight Alex Pereira is eager for his UFC journey to continue, but plans to take it one step at a time.

Alex Pereira knocked out Andreas Michailidis at UFC 268.
Alex Pereira knocked out Andreas Michailidis at UFC 268.
Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images

Two-time Glory kickboxing champion Alex Pereira has finally made his Octagon debut. At UFC 268, ‘Poatan’ successfully defeated Andreas Michailidis via flying knee KO in the second round after struggling with his opponent’s wrestling in the first. Despite that bump in the road, the Brazilian considers the outcome positive.

In an interview with Ag Fight, ‘Poatan’ explained that he is in no hurry to climb the steps of the middleweight division. Although Alex has already defeated champion Israel Adesanya twice before in professional kickboxing, Pereira wants to be better prepared to defeat grapplers before he considers meeting the ‘Last Style Bender’ again.

“I’m happy with the debut,” Pereira said. “I was able to put on a show for the crowd, and I think I’ll always have that pressure with me. It’s the same pressure I had in kickboxing and MMA. It’s good for me, but I must be able to control it. My opponents will try to grapple me, but I’ll be ready. I still have a lot of room for development. I train a lot of takedown defense.

“Everything in due time. When the time comes, I’ll be ready and much more prepared. The numbers speak for themselves. People know my track record. Of course it changes a little when it comes to MMA. I still have much to learn. I’m learning and training to put on good fights. Every day I learn, especially in a new sport.”

Before his UFC debut, Pereira (4-1), was on a three-fight winning streak on the regional circuit, with all victories coming by knockout. The 34-year-old’s only defeat happened in his professional MMA debut, in October 2015, when he got submitted by Quemuel Ottoni via rear-naked choke.