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Lyoto Machida praises Alex Pereira’s fight IQ, believes he’ll be in UFC title mix

Bellator’s Lyoto Machida believes training partner Alex Pereira is a special kind of athlete.

Former UFC champion Lyoto Machida is the latest mixed martial artist to sing Alex Pereira’s praises as a fighter.

A training partner of the former two-division Glory champion, the ‘Dragon’ believes there are not many athletes like ‘Poatan’ in the UFC. Although Pereira is famous for his knockout power and kickboxing skills, Lyoto has different reasons to admire Alex.

In an interview with Ag Fight, Machida highlighted Pereira’s intelligence and even compared his training partner to his own dad, karate master Yoshizo Machida. According to Lyoto, Poatan shows knowledge that he only learned from his father when Lyoto himself was under training.

“He’s very smart. He does and says things that only my dad, a master, used to tell me. Things like: ‘Lyoto, this is the moment to strike, that’s how you strike’. Poatan instinctively has that. When we meet, we only talk about fighting. Methods, whether or not something would work in a fight. Not everybody has that kind of insight. Anybody can throw a punch or a kick, they can search how to do it on YouTube. But it’s about, when, how, what to do. His fight IQ is so different.”

Because of his intelligence and skills, Machida believes Pereira will soon be in the title mix in the UFC’s middleweight division. Not only that, but Lyoto believes that Poatan’s grounded mentality will not let his training partner get distracted from his goal.

“He’s very grounded. Although his MMA career is still short, his background in kickboxing is massive. So he’s used to this kind of hype, that he could become a champion, that he’s going to win the fight. Because he is level-headed and so skilled, I think that’ll get him in the title mix.”

Pereira recently fought at UFC Vegas 50: Santos vs. Ankalaev, defeating Bruno Silva via Unanimous Decision.

Currently on a three-fight losing skid, Machida (26-11) dropped decisions to Ryan Bader, Phil Davis and Gegard Mousasi in his most recent outings. The 43-year-old’s last win happened in June 2019, when he TKO’d Chael Sonnen at Bellator 222.

Now, Machida is expected to take on Fabian Edwards at Bellator 281, on May 13, in London, England. The card is scheduled to be headlined by a welterweight bout for the interim belt between Logan Storley and Michael Page.