Alex Pereira left the kickboxing world after becoming GLORY’s two-division champion to pursue a different challenge, and he is making his highly anticipated UFC debut against Andreas Michailidis at UFC 268 at Madison Square Garden on November 6.
Glover Teixeira – UFC light heavyweight contender and longtime ‘Poatan’ training partner – sees championship potential in Pereira, who holds a few kickboxing wins over the Middleweight King of the UFC Israel Adesanya, including a vicious knockout.
Speaking on the latest episode of the MMA Fighting Portuguese podcast Trocação Franca, Teixeira has said he believes “The Last Stylebender” is afraid of Pereira’s arrival in the 185-pound class and a possible trilogy fight, this time under MMA rules.
“Dad is in the UFC,” Teixeira said. “Adesanya doesn’t want to talk about it, ‘This guy just arrived,’ but he knows it’s hard for him. No one gives Adesanya at 185 more problems than him. I’m not saying he does. gonna win, it’s another fight, another time, another style, but Adesanya has to pray, “For god’s sake, put someone like Phil Davis on this guy.”
Pereira’s most recent MMA fight took place under the LFA banner in November 2020, ending in a scary first-round knockout against Thomas Powell. Teixeira, who is used to training and trading hands with Pereira on a daily basis in Danbury, Conn., Challenges anyone to “punch him with those little gloves.”
“It hits your right rib and the left rib hurts,” Teixeira said with a laugh. “Adesanya is no match for him. First of all, he will arrive scared. [Pereira] knocked him out with 10 oz gloves. With four-ounce gloves on his hand now … And Adesanya doesn’t have the knockout power of Poatan. He’s fine, don’t get me wrong, Adesanya is awesome, but he doesn’t hit like him. Adesanya hits like a normal guy, Poatan is not normal.
Adesanya is one of the more technical forwards in MMA today, but Teixeira would expect him to mix things up and try to fight Pereira if they meet in the Octagon in the future.
“Adesanya doesn’t have a running game, at least from what I saw in his last fight,” said Teixeira, referring to the champion’s fight against Jan Blachowicz in the light heavyweight. “Adesanya has no land and no struggle to bring down Poatan. In fact, I think Poatan is better than him.
“I won’t tell you he’s one of the best, a ‘Jacare’ or Rodolfo Vieira on the pitch,” he continued. “But he defends well on the ground, has a good defensive struggle and the way he moves on the feet makes it harder to reduce the distance. I have some good takedowns, but it’s hard to reach it. I expect him to do well in the UFC.
Pereira is just 3-1 in MMA for his UFC debut at Madison Square Garden, but Teixeira expects the promotion to put him on a fast track to the 185-pound belt given his pedigree in kickboxing and his history with Adesanya.
“I think it’s harder to reach Adesanya than to fight him today,” Teixeira said. “If they put him against Adesanya from the start, I think it’s easier for him than getting to Adesanya. Styles make fights. For example, I beat ‘Marreta’ [Thiago Santos] and Marreta knocked out Blachowicz, and Blachowicz knocked out a guy who beat me up, Corey Anderson.
“I said [Pereira] that hitting in MMA is a little different from hitting in kickboxing. You’re more relaxed in kickboxing, you don’t need too much footwork and things like that, and he knows it. He’s super smart, he’s a top athlete. He’s not just a kickboxer, he’s a top athlete with incredible power, incredible preparation, and I think he will do well in the UFC.
Check out the latest episode of Brazilian podcast Trocação Franca from MMA Fighting.