Chael Sonnen Questions Alex Pereira’s Motivation To Stay At Middleweight: ‘Pereira Is Going To 205 Pounds’

Chael Sonnen Doesn't Think Alex Pereira Will Fight At Middleweight Again.

Chael Sonnen
Chael Sonnen (Left) and Alex Pereira (Right)(Images via Instagram @Sonnench and @AlexPoatanPereira)

Chael Sonnen believes Alex Pereira could be moving up to the light heavyweight division. 

‘Poatan’ made his UFC debut in November 2021 with one goal in mind. The former GLORY kickboxer felt he could beat his former rival Israel Adesanya, the middleweight champion at the time. After only three UFC fights, Pereira received the opportunity at UFC 281 and became the 185-pound champion. 

Pereira’s ridiculous power and elite striking fundamentals led most people to believe he could dominate the division for several years. Sonnen is not one of those people. ‘The American Gangster’ made a YouTube video questioning the motivation of ‘Poatan’ to fight at middleweight again. He had this to say: 

“[Alex] Pereira’s drive and motivation was pretty clear to us. [Israel] Adesanya. Gotta beat Izzy, and moreover, my friend, my teammate, my mentor, and my coach is at 205 pounds. I’m gonna stay out of his wheelhouse, right?… Neither one of those things are true anymore…”

Pereira revealed he could potentially fight Robert Whittaker if Adesanya isn’t ready for a rematch in May. Sonnen responded to this potential matchup by saying: 

“I don’t know where the motivation would be for Pereira. He would not have that motivation to fight Robert Whittaker. I’ll tell you that much… He just beat the guy who beat Robert. That’s not what’s gonna do it.”

Chael Sonnen doesn’t feel like Alex Pereira vs. Israel Adesanya is happening next

Israel Adesanya was terrorizing the UFC middleweight division before Alex Pereira showed up. Although Pereira has two kickboxing wins over ‘The Last Stylebender,’ he’s only defeated the former champion once in MMA. Therefore, an instant rematch was expected for Adesanya after winning most of their fight at UFC 281.

During the same YouTube video, Chael Sonnen had this to say about Pereira potentially not being motivated by any middleweight, including Adesanya: 

“There is a mental commitment and a drive and a desire, or he’s never going to see that weight class again, and I haven’t heard anything yet that’ll get you there. It’s not Chimaev. It’s not Paulo Costa. It’s not Robert Whittaker. It might be just to make good on his word for Adesanya, but something does not feel like those guys are getting ready to have that match next… Pereira is going to 205 pounds.”

Sonnen made several solid points about Pereira being able to easily transition to light heavyweight because of his size. With that said, the reigning middleweight champion seems focused on defending his title next. Suppose ‘Poatan’ does decide to move up to light heavyweight. In that case, he no longer has to worry about fighting his close friend and training partner Glover Teixeira, who recently retired after losing to Jamahal Hill at UFC 283.

Published on January 24, 2023 at 10:50 pm
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