Alex Pereira may never be free of his rivalry with Israel Adesanya but is friendly with him now.
Former UFC middleweight champion Alex Pereira is moving on to a new division. He is moving up to light heavyweight and will be taking on Jan Blachowicz his next time out. Pereira has explained on numerous occasions that although he is still able to make the middleweight limit, he is giving his body a break and trying his hand at light heavyweight. This comes off of his most recent loss, losing the title to his rival Israel Adesanya. There has been some bad blood between Pereira and Adesanya over the course of their careers. They have fought multiple times, in both kickboxing in the UFC. Now Adesanya finally holds a win over Pereira.
Despite these two moving on in different divisions, it seems like they cannot get away from each other. They ran into each other in the airport in New Zealand and although the MMA community got a kick out of it, Pereira explains that things are actually cool between himself and Adesanya now.
“We all flew from the same place but I think on different flights we’ve got at the same time and then he was walking and then all of a sudden the guy look back, it was Israel. Then I say Alex, look who’s behind me and then he saw he was right there we all shook hands, and laughed. We were about to get on the security line right that’s all then we bumped into each other a few more times on the line,” Pereira said through a translator on The MMA Hour. ” He holds no grudge, he don’t want no animosity.”
— Jed I. Goodman © (@jedigoodman) June 5, 2023
Alex Pereira is welcoming Sean Strickland to his gym to train
Pereira claims that he does not hold a grudge. And in fact, he could see himself becoming friends with Adesanya in the future. He is even inviting another man who has made comments about him in the past to come and train. That man is Sean Strickland. Strickland is known in the MMA community for being quite outspoken. He is never going to bite his tongue and in the past has criticized Pereira, calling him “hittable” in his past fights. Now Pereira is welcoming him into his Danbury Connecticut gym and even looks to learn a little bit of English from the trash talker.
“Sean Strickland is coming next week to train with him for his next fight,” he said. “Sean Strickland is coming to Danbury, CT. He said he’s gonna learn English from Sean Strickland. He’s a bit crazy, but he’s a nice guy. You know what I mean? He talks his talk against people, but is a very good guy. Always, to Alex very respectfully. So he’s very welcome in our group.”
Pereira is training under former light heavyweight champion Glover Teixeira and now with Strickland on his side could be adding another layer to his already impressive striking game. Pereira believes that a win over Blachowicz, the former champion could lead him to a title shot at 205 pounds. He even mentioned being open to another bout with Adesanya in the future at light heavyweight.