Alex Pereira's UFC career began with a kickboxing rivalry against Israel Adesanya. The organization played a crucial role in facilitating his path to Adesanya by pairing him with opponents he could easily defeat, avoiding any potential matchups with wrestlers along the way.
This ultimately led to Pereira's claim of the middleweight title. However, as Pereira makes the move to light heavyweight, the stakes are set to change. In a recent interview, UFC President Dana White stated that the organization would no longer be providing any special treatment for Pereira and that he would have to prove himself against legitimate contenders in order to earn a shot at the title.
"You put him in title contention and then he has to beat someone to even be considered in title contention," White said. "He's got to move to 205 and beat a real guy, so that's what we're looking at right now, getting a real guy." White also spoke highly of Adesanya, expressing excitement at the prospect of the middleweight champion returning to the octagon soon.
"The Last Stylebender" is reportedly eager to get back into action, with White revealing that Adesanya has been constantly asking about his next fight. "I love that about Israel Adesanya. Israel Adesanya wants to fight non-stop, constantly, and he wants to fight everybody.
We're working on that and he'll fight again soon, maybe before the end of the summer." When asked about the identity of Adesanya's next opponent, White stated that he did not yet know.
Pereira's Light Heavyweight Debut: A Test of Skill Against the Elite
As for Pereira, his debut in the light heavyweight division is sure to be an exciting and revealing test of his abilities against some of the best fighters in the sport.
It will be intriguing to see who the UFC lines up for his first fight in the new weight class, and we can expect to learn more about this in the near future.