Daniel Cormier discussed the grappling abilities of Alex Pereira.
‘Poatan’ skyrocketed up the UFC middleweight rankings to become the champion in only four fights. Three of his four wins came by KO/TKO due to his world-class striking fundamentals and inhuman power. Although his standup skills can’t be questioned, Cormier has weighed in on Pereira’s takedown defense. He had this to say during a video on his YouTube channel:
“When you see Izzy [Adesanya] hold him [Pereira] down for as long as he did, you start to question whether or not he can handle a wrestler. Don’t forget guys, he got taken down based on one of his mistakes. It wasn’t Adesanya shooting on him and taking him down…”
Cormier has been wrestling all his life and loves to size up fighters by lightly grappling them in person. Here’s what he had to say about trying to takedown Pereira:
“I’m a guy when I see Alex Pereira, I wrestle Alex Pereira. There are multiple clips of it. Everywhere I run into the guy, I try to single-leg him, and when I grab his leg, dude is strong… He does seem to have an understanding on how to defend takedowns… I think where he may struggle is with all of the in-between wrestling…”
Israel Adesanya took out everyone in the UFC middleweight division before Pereira showed up. ‘Poatan’ has recently mentioned how he plans to give Adesanya an immediate rematch if the former champion wants. With that said, there has been speculation of Robert Whittaker getting the next title shot at 185 pounds.
Alex Pereira plans to be ready for either Israel Adesanya or Robert Whittaker next 👀
— MMA Fighting (@MMAFighting) January 24, 2023
Watch Daniel Cormier discuss Alex Pereira’s grappling below:
Daniel Cormier believes the UFC middleweight division should be concerned about Alex Pereira’s understanding of takedown defense
Although Israel Adesanya has two wins against Robert Whittaker, the latter could be a tougher stylistic matchup for Alex Pereira. Whittaker would be able to test Pereira’s takedown defense more and potentially expose the former GLORY kickboxer. During the same YouTube video, Daniel Cormier had this to say about ‘Poatan’:
“I’m telling you, from grabbing him, he has an understanding of how to defend himself when guys are trying to take him down, and that may spell disaster for the guys at middleweight because if you can’t take this dude down, we’ve seen him outstrike the best striker in the UFC middleweight division that we’d seen since Anderson Silva…”
‘Poatan’ has various options for his next fight. The two most likely would be Adesanya or Whittaker, but there are other possible matchups. Jamahall Hill recently battered Pereira’s close friend and mentor, Glover Teixeira, at 205 pounds. Considering his massive frame, the reigning middleweight champion could move up to light heavyweight. Regardless of the weight class, all of his future opponents better hope the Brazilian’s takedown defense doesn’t hold up.
Alex Pereira wants revenge for Coach Glover 👀 pic.twitter.com/elNZUlCkWT
— UFC on TNT Sports (@ufcontnt) January 26, 2023