Alex Pereira is thought to bulk up to 220 pounds between fights and cuts a whopping 35 pounds to compete at middleweight.
The heavy-hitting knockout artist and former two-division GLORY champion recently fought at UFC 281 where he defeated longtime kickboxing rival Israel Adesanya via fifth-round TKO to win the middleweight title, becoming the first man to stop ‘The Last Stylebender’ in kickboxing and MMA.
UFC color commentator and podcast host Joe Rogan thinks Pereira deserves full credit for the victory but that he is too big for middleweight and has a massive advantage over the rest of the division, labeling his cut to 185 ‘basically sanctioned cheating’.
“He could have been. Yeah,” Rogan said when asked by Steve-O if Pereira really weighed 220 pounds (h/t Sportskeeda). “He certainly gets above that in-between fights. He has a hard time making 185. It’s a bull***t thing. It’s basically sanctioned cheating. It really is. But everybody does it.”
Pereira did have an enormous size advantage over Adesanya at UFC 281 but that shouldn’t detract from his victory. The Brazilian is now 3-0 over Adesanya overall, with two previous victories in kickboxing including a brutal KO at GLORY of Heroes 7.
With the win, Pereira surged to #8 in the UFC men’s pound-for-pound rankings. He is considered one of the most vicious strikers and knockout artists in MMA.