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Alex Pereira moving up to light heavyweight instead of the Israel Adesanya rematch.



Alex Pereira, the recently dethroned UFC middleweight champion, has announced his move up to the light heavyweight division. Standing at a towering 6-foot-4, Pereira has struggled to make the 185-pound mark in his nine-fight MMA career, making his shift up in weight a natural decision.


Though he remains confident in his ability to compete in the middleweight division, Pereira has his sights set on bigger things but still, he's keeping an eye on Israel Adesanya's behavior.


"All of you saw the provocation from Adesanya after the fight... Let’s see how he behaves… I will always be able to make 185... I’m sure if I insist to fight him again immediately, the UFC and my promoters will make it happen."


After losing his title to Adesanya in a rematch at UFC 287, Pereira wasted no time in announcing his move up to light heavyweight. He feels that Adesanya is acting a bit too smug about his recent win and wants to see how he behaves going forward. Though Pereira has no date or opponent lined up for his return to the octagon, he's already looking toward the future.


In a video he posted to his YouTube account, Pereira gave the following reasons for switching to the 205-pound weight class:


"My next fight will be at 205 [pounds]. Yeah, you heard right. I think I did my work and now I'm feeling good to go up to 205... This division 185, I always made weight... But now it's the moment for me to go to the next division."


Pereira has had a phenomenal kickboxing career, competing in both the 185 and 205-pound weight classes. He committed fully to MMA in 2020 and was signed to the UFC after going 3-1. Though his history with Adesanya provided him a good reason to stick with middleweight, his loss in their fourth fight made the move up in weight an imminent choice.


While a rubber match with Adesanya felt like a real possibility, Pereira is instead focusing on his next steps in the light heavyweight division. He assures fans that he could have run things back once more with “The Last Stylebender” but ultimately feels that moving up in weight is the best decision for his career. Despite the change in weight class, Pereira remains confident that he could fight Adesanya immediately if he chose to do so.


Even though Pereira hasn't yet fought scheduled, light heavyweight champion Jamahal Hill publicly pointed out his enthusiasm to welcome the former middleweight champion to the 205-pound class. It'll be fascinating to see how Pereira performs in his new division and whether he can make a statement against some of the world's top light heavyweights.

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