Former middleweight champion Alex Pereira is set to embark on a momentous journey as he steps into the light heavyweight division for the first time in his MMA career. Tonight's UFC 291 promises to be a colossal night for Pereira, both figuratively and quite literally.
Having held multiple Glory kickboxing titles, Pereira has now set his sights on the former light heavyweight champion, Jan Blachowicz, in the co-main event of the eagerly anticipated PPV in Salt Lake City, UT. Stepping onto the scales, Pereira's massive frame at 6'4" was a sight to behold, even for a light heavyweight. Gone was the haunting look that often accompanied his weigh-ins at 185 lbs, replaced with a more robust and healthy appearance.
Despite Blachowicz being a formidable 6'2", Pereira's imposing figure made it hard to believe he once fought in a lower division. The transition to light heavyweight seems almost natural for him, given that it still lies within a weight range lighter than his kickboxing days.
Pereira's journey to this point has been one of continuous transformation. From starting his career at 187 lbs, he made a significant leap to 200 lbs when he competed in the WAKO World Championships in 2013. Subsequently, he conquered Glory's light heavyweight division, securing the 209 lbs title by defeating Ertugrul Bayrak in 2019.
No stranger to adapting his weight for competition, Pereira made the swift switch to MMA after losing his Glory title to Vakhitov in 2021. In just two months, he shed approximately 25 lbs, showcasing his versatility and dedication to his craft.
With his towering height and seemingly effortless ability to bulk up, some fans speculate whether Pereira might one day grace the heavyweight division. Could he possibly become the UFC's first-ever three-division champion? It's an intriguing prospect that sparks curiosity and anticipation among MMA enthusiasts.
As UFC 291 approaches, all eyes will be on Alex Pereira, the kickboxing sensation turned MMA contender. His transformation from middleweight to light heavyweight is nothing short of awe-inspiring. The octagon awaits to witness the outcome of this thrilling match-up, where Pereira's potential seems boundless.