Pereira’s Wrestling Under Fire! ‘He Kind Of Just Falls Down’

Welcome to Midnight Mania!

Alex Pereira has one of the most unique careers in combat sports.

A two-division K-1 Kickboxing champion, Pereira transitioned into MMA at least in part because of his previous rivalry with Israel Adesanya, the UFC Middleweight king at the time. Before long, he had earned his way to a title shot versus “Stylebender,” and the two traded knockouts at the pinnacle of the sport.

After the Adesanya fights, Pereira opted to move to Light Heavyweight. A competitive decision win over Jan Blachowicz earned him a title shot versus Jiri Prochazka, and once again, the Brazilian’s otherworldly power proved the deciding factor. He stopped “BJP” in the second, setting up his first title defense against Jamahal Hill in the main event of UFC 300.

A flawless knockout win (despite a broken toe!) brings us up to date. In just eight UFC fights and less than three years, “Poatan” went from a relative unknown in the MMA world to two-division champion with five amazing knockout wins and a title defense. It doesn’t seem possible!

There are some drawbacks to joining the MMA world in your mid-30s, however. Notably, Pereira has struggled with the grappling of his opponents on a few occasions, showing inexperience in that realm. He’s been taken down by strikers like Blachowicz, Adesanya, and Prochazka, but somehow, it hasn’t actually cost him any defeats.

Pereira’s continued success surprises UFC analyst Daniel Cormier for that reason. On “Good Guy/Bad Guy,” Cormier discussed how Pereira is able to win fights without much depth in a fundamental aspect of fighting.

“I’m sitting there at night going, ‘How’s he doing this when, with all due respect because Alex and I have a great relationship, he can’t wrestle. He does not know how to wrestle,” Cormier said (via MMA Junkie).

“When they grab his leg, he kind of just falls down. He can’t wrestle. When he can’t wrestle, I’m like, ‘How is this happening when he can’t wrestle?’ But he has got this singular skillset that is so good that it does not matter what he can’t do. He’s so good at what he does that he’s now the best in the world.”

As mentioned, Pereira has mostly been fighting strikers. His next title defense may be against Dagestan’s Magomed Ankalaev, a Combat Sambo ace and fighter who would surely look to test Pereira’s wrestling improvements.

Unless a left hook lands before he shoots.

Insomnia

Add one more to the Max Holloway knocking out Justin Gaethje reaction pile:

I still highly doubt Sergei Pavlovich vs. Alexander Volkov is happening, but … we’ll see!

Humility is a good look.

I have to admit, this is a doper-than-average MMA shirt.

Are secret breathing strategies the key to defeating jiu-jitsu? I’m pretty sure Rickson Gracie used to claim to have the same ability to endure locked in chokes.

I’ve now seen clips of Jamahal Hill partying after each of his career losses, which were both brutal! Respect.

What does everyone think Jiri Prochazka will use his $300k bonus on? That’s a lot of katanas.

Carlos Diego Ferreira is underappreciated in the pantheon of Lightweight scrappers, and Mateus Rebecki is a quality prospect. Great booking!

Slips, rips, and KO clips

Double knockdown and a pretty simultaneous recovery!

Jumping switch knee can be effective takedown defense.

Amazingly slick knockout:

Random Land

New ocean creatures just dropped!

Midnight Music: Folk rock, 1976

Sleep well Maniacs! More martial arts madness is always on the way.

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