Heavyweight Super Fights? Pereira ‘Can Fight Anywhere’

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Heavyweight Super Fights? Pereira ‘Can Fight Anywhere’

Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC

Glover Teixeira sees big things in his student Alex Pereira’s future. That’s because he feels ‘Poatan’ is large enough to dominate a weight class up, or maybe even two.

UFC middleweight champion Alex Pereira returns to action on April 8th at UFC 287 where he’ll fight Israel Adesanya for the second time in MMA and fourth across all combat sports.

“Poatan” holds two kickboxing wins over “The Last Stylebender” and took Adesanya’s title off him via TKO at UFC 281. Now the immediate rematch is going down in Miami, Florida, and Pereira’s coach Glover Teixeira knows what he wants out of his pupil.

“Alex, man, he’s focused,” Teixeira said in an interview MMA Junkie. “He knows the way we won the last fight – he waited too much to pull the trigger. He just needs to be more alert in this fight, because Izzy, he’s fast. He moves a lot, and that’s what we’ve been working on. Be alert, be focused and when the opportunity comes, just take the fight to finish.

“He is a finisher. He can finish a fight at any given second,” Teixeira continued. “He’s a powerhouse. The guy hits so hard and he’s just got to pressure more and get it done, like he did in the fifth round. Of course, he knows not to just go crazy and try to finish the fight in the first round. But be more alert.”

Adesanya was up 39-37 on all three judges’ scorecards coming into the fifth round, but it just takes one punch from Pereira to change the outlook of a fight. That’s in part due to his impressive size. Alex cuts a large amount of weight to make it to 185 pounds, to the point where Teixeira believes we’ll see “Poatan” at heavyweight some day.

“Eventually he will,” Teixeira said. “We talk about it. He can fight anywhere. Look at this guy. He can fight in any division. He can fight in heavyweight, light heavyweight – he’s big.”

Pereira certainly didn’t seem undersized while sparring with 290-pound Olympic boxing medalist Zhilei Zhan. It’s encounters like this that has Teixeira envisioning superfights in Alex’s future at multiple weight classes.

“Eventually I think he’s going to want to do that because the weight cut is a big cut for him. He doesn’t complain. He just keeps going and doing it well, because he likes to be 185, and he felt good. But he can do 205 for sure and eventually it might happen because if he goes up, there are super fights, big fights. I think it’s a possibility.”

Before that happens, Pereira will have to defeat Adesanya again … for a fourth time. We’ll see if the hard hitting Brazilian can continue his streak of domination over “The Last Stylebender” at UFC 287.