Pereira had a highly decorated kickboxing career, including two wins over Israel Adesanya, before fully committing to MMA. ‘Poatan’ joined the UFC with a 3-1 record and won three fights before earning his title shot against Adesanya at UFC 281.
Watch Alex Pereira’s knockout against Sean Strickland, which is referenced by Marvin Vettori, below:
Some believe Pereira skipped the line because of his history with Adesanya and the lack of middleweight contenders instead of his MMA skills. Vettori is not one of those people.
During the UFC Paris media day interview, ‘The Italian Dream’ had this to say about ‘Poatan’ getting a title shot faster than others:
“[Sean] Strickland is not like a chump… You beat a guy like that, you deserve the spot you’re in… He skipped the line because he put him [Adesanya] on an oxygen mask on a stretcher the last time they fought. So, I understand that.”
Vettori was referring to Pereira’s last win, where he knocked out Sean Strickland in the first round. Despite the lack of UFC experience, his history with Adesanya and the unbelievable power he has makes ‘Poatan’ an intriguing title challenger.
Watch Marvin Vettori discuss Alex Pereira below:
Marvin Vettori shows respect for Alex Pereira’s skillset
Vettori is in a weird spot even if he wins against Robert Whittaker at UFC Paris this weekend. He’s already lost twice to Adesanya, but Pereira could change everything if he becomes the champion at UFC 281. During the same media day interview, ‘The Italian Dream’ had this to say about potentially fighting the Brazilian kickboxer:
“I think I would match up well. I’m definitely more complete, but he’s a hell of a fighter. He’s a hell of a fighter. I respect him. Like any other opponent, I would game plan, and I will be super ready, and I will come in and give it my best and walk away with a win.”
Before worrying about what’s next, Vettori has a tough matchup against Whittaker. ‘The Italian Dream’ is currently the betting underdog, but he’s not lacking any confidence. A lot is on the line at UFC Paris, considering the loser will have a treacherous journey back to a title shot.