This is one hell of a fight.
A return to middleweight has done wonders for Strickland, who has since emerged as a potential title challenger after rattling off six straight wins in his recent appearances. ‘Tarzan’ defeated Jack Marshman, Brendan Allen and Krzysztof Jotko before being given a step up in competition against top-ranked contenders. The 31-year-old bested Uriah Hall and Jack Hermansson via decision at UFC Vegas 33 and UFC Vegas 47, respectively.
Pereira joined the UFC over a year ago and announced his arrival with a first-round flying knee knockout of Andreas Michailidis at UFC 268. ‘Po Atan’ followed that performance with a unanimous decision over Bruno Silva at UFC Vegas 50 this past March. Following his win over Silva, the former GLORY champion expressed interest in a fight with Jared Cannonier in an attempt to move closer to a shot at current champion and former foe Israel Adesanya. Pereira has two wins over Adesanya in kickboxing, with the Brazilian earning a unanimous decision in 2016 and a third-round knockout in 2017. Though he did not get Cannonier, a win over someone like Strickland could vault him into contention.
No other fights are attached to UFC 277 at this time. Stay tuned to Bloody Elbow for updates to the event as they become available in the coming weeks.