clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

‘He’s no joke’ - Glover Teixeira thinks Alex Pereira has ‘three more fights’ before title shot

Light heavyweight champion sees his teammate Alex Pereira fighting Israel Adesanya for the middleweight belt soon.

Glover Teixeira is Alex Pereira’s team mate.
Glover Teixeira is Alex Pereira’s team mate.
Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC

The UFC light heavyweight champion Glover Teixeira believes a rematch between Israel Adesanya and his teammate Alex Pereira is not all that far into the future. Although ‘Poatan’ only made his Octagon debut earlier this month, Teixeira predicts that his friend will quickly climb the ladder to the top of the middleweight division.

In an interview with Ariel Helwani during the MMA Hour, Teixeira explained how fast Pereira is picking up mixed martial arts techniques. In the champion’s opinion, in one year or within three more fights, the former Glory kickboxing star will be having his third outing against Adesanya.

“I told [Pereira], ‘One year,’” Teixeira said. “I told him when he signed with the UFC, ‘Hey man, they’ll be talking about you in about one year, three fights.’ Especially the way he fought. It couldn’t go better.

“I couldn’t be more happy as a coach as a training partner that’s been telling people that this guy is no joke. He’s got a lot to learn, but he’s learning things quick. He’ll get things quick. I’m talking about you get a regular guy and whatever, that guy’s gonna learn in six months – [Pereira will] learn in a week. You show him a move and he just does it.”

Known for his recent come-from-behind wins, Teixeira says Pereira has the same kind of heart, which was shown in his debut against Andreas Michailidis. Since Poatan wants no long layoffs between fights, Glover believes he will be able to get close to the top 5 by the end of 2022.

“Alex is kind of like [me in training] and couldn’t have done better [at UFC 268],” Teixeira explained. “He got taken down, he defended takedowns, he got up and he stayed there. You see the other guy come out of the clinch, the guy’s face was all messed up, he was dead tired and he come out with the flying knee. So calm, so relaxed.

“I say three more fights the most, and he wants to fight quick. He wants February already, he wants to fight quick, so he’s going to fight back to back probably. No injuries, no nothing. By this time next year, they’ll be talking about him and Adesanya.”

In his UFC debut, Pereira (4-1) knocked out Michailidis with a flying knee, back on November 6. The victory extended the 34-year-old’s to four straight knockouts, with his sole loss being a submission defeat in his debut, in October 2015.

In professional kickboxing, Poatan became the GLORY middleweight and light heavyweight champion, where he scored two wins over UFC champion Adesanya, in April 2016 and March 2017.