The myth-making around Alex Pereira is in full-swing. The Brazilian striker signed with the UFC recently and he was immediately singled out as a threat to current UFC middleweight champion Israel Adesanya. That notion has merit, though. Pereira is the only man to ever KO Adesanya, he did that in GLORY kickboxing in 2017. Pereira also took a decision win over Adesanya, also in GLORY, in 2016.
Pereira announced he was focusing on MMA now with a vicious KO over Thomas Powell at LFA 95 last year.
Pereira’s training partner Glover Teixiera, who faces Jan Blachowicz for the UFC light heavyweight title at UFC 267, is doing his part in selling Pereira as a monster who could potentially dethrone ‘The Last Stylebender’.
He appeared on MMA Fighting’s Portuguese-language podcast Trocação Franca with Guilherme Cruz recently, where he announced “Daddy’s in the UFC, Adesanya doesn’t want to talk about it.”
“No one gives Adesanya more trouble at 185 than him,” continued Teixeira. “I’m not saying he’s going to win, it’s another fight, another time, another style, but Adesanya must be praying, ‘For the love of God, put someone like Phil Davis for this guy.’”
Teixeira said he spars with Pereira constantly. And that doesn’t like much fun.
“He hits your right rib and the left rib hurts. Adesanya is no match for him. First of all, he’ll be coming in shit-scared. [Pereira] knocked him out with 10-ounce gloves. With four-ounce gloves on his hand now… And Adesanya doesn’t have the knockout power Poatan has. He’s fucking good, don’t get me wrong, Adesanya is awesome, but he doesn’t hit like him. Adesanya hits like a normal guy, Poatan is not normal.”
Teixeira also said that his fellow Brazilian is a more versatile fighter than Adesanya and that, should a fight between them go to the ground, Pereira would have a sizeable advantage.
“Adesanya has no ground game, at least based on what I saw in his [fight with Blachowicz]. Adesanya has no ground and wrestling to take Poatan down. In fact, I think Poatan is better than him.
“I won’t tell you he’s one of the best, a ‘Jacare’ or Rodolfo Vieira on the ground. But he defends well on the ground, has good defensive wrestling, and the way he moves on the feet makes it tougher to close the distance. I have good takedowns, but it’s hard to get to him. I expect him to do well in the UFC.”
On October 30, Teixeira is expected to challenge for the UFC’s 205-lb title for the second time in his career. His first title shot came against Jon Jones back in 2014. He lost that bout via unanimous decision.
Teixeira then lost to Phil Davis before going on a three-fight win streak. That streak was snapped by Anthony Johnson (by KO) in 2016. After alternating wins and losses for the next couple of years Teixeira regained his stride in 2019.
That year he beat Karl Roberson, Ion Cutelaba and Nikita Krylov. In 2020 he extended his win streak to five with stoppages of Anthony Smith and Thiago Santos.