Alex Pereira was able to survive on the mat against Blachowicz and edge out the striking battle against Jan Blachowicz tonight at UFC 291 to earn a split decision victory.
Inside low kick from Pereira and Blachowicz goes straight into a takedown attempt, marching his opponent over to the cage in the process.
Pereira defending for now and then suddenly threatens with a guillotine choke. it seems relatively tight, but Blachowicz gives a thumbs up to the ref and Pereira doesn’t go all in on the attempt. Leg kicks from Pereira here as he keeps his arm wrapped around the neck.
Eventually Blachowicz gets free and immediately lands the takedown. Pereira gets to his knees and tries to stand, but Blachowicz gets onto his back and has the body triangle in while he tries to work in a rear-naked choke.
Pereira able to get free of the choke for now, but Blachowicz is still latched onto his back. Blachhowicz a little off-balance on Pereira’s back, but is remaining on there for now.
Pereira tries to disrupt Blachowicz’s base but while that works for amoment Blachowicz then works another rear-naked choke attempt. He survives that and another attempt soon after to make it out of the first round.
Body punch for Pereira. Now a low kick. Outside low kick from Pereira and Blachowicz lands one of his own.
Jab for Blachowicz. Pereira with his jab now. Low kick for Pereira. He jabs to the body. Now one upstairs and Blachowicz responds with one of his own. Leg kick for Blachowicz.
Chopping low kick from Pereira. Body punch for Blachowicz. Both land a leg kick and then Pereira connects with a harder one. Blachowicz catches him with a punch.
Blachowicz in on a takedown now and lands it. He’s in Pereira’s full guard with more than half the round remaining.
Elbow strike for Pereira from his back. Blachowicz opting more for control at this stage, but is able to pass to half-guard as Pereira gets his back to the cage and tries to stand.
Pereira is able to get back to his feet which will boost his confidence, but he’s still stuck in the clinch against the cage here as Blachowicz lands a knee to the body.
Now Pereira manages to get free. He threatens with a head kick attempt. Blachowicz with a body punch. Pereira looks for a punch and eats one too.
solid leg kick for Pereira and then a punch as he opts to clinch against the cage. solid knee for Pereira as he backs out.
Blachowicz looks tired as Pereira starts to unload heavy strikes. Blachowicz taking in big gasps of air here. Pereira with another punch and Blachowicz reaches for a takedown just as the round ends.
Blachowicz looked exhausted late in the second round, lets see how he does in the third. Low kick for Pereira and one in return from Blachowicz. Pereira lands another. Pereira targets thhe body too now with a punch.
Low kicks exchanged. Blachowicz with a nice punch and a body kick. Low kick for Pereira on Blachowicz’s already welted-up lead leg.
Another low kick for Pereira. Blachowicz bursts forward with a solid combination of punches.
Body punch for Pereira. Leg kick for Blachowicz. left hook for him. Pereira steps into a right hand.
Another right hand for Pereira. Now a punch to the body. Blachowicz drives into a takedown, but Pereira defends it well and gets back to striking range.
A couple of left hands for Blachowicz. Low kick for Pereira. Jab from Blachowicz. Blachowicz winds up on a punch and eats a counter for his troubles. Clash of shins. Pereira with a hard punch and Blachowicz backs up a bit.
Nice left hook for Blachowicz. Low kick for Pereira and a left hook. He jabs to the body. Blachowicz with a combination that doesn’t pay off and eats a counter.
jabs for Pereira. Leg kick for Blachowicz. Single-leg attempt from Blachowicz and dumps him to the mat in the center of teh Octagon.
Blachowicz has less than a minute to work from here. He’s settling into Pereira’s guard though staying close to his opponent’s body rather than really going for broke with ground-and-pound, so we’re headed to the judges.
Despite Blachowicz working his ground game early, Pereira showed solid defense and then made his mark in the striking action that followed in 2nd and 3rd rounds as Blachowicz began to tire and emerges with a split decision victory (29-28 x2, 28-29).