Former UFC middleweight champion Alex Pereira has made it clear he has no regrets about moving up to the light-heavyweight division, despite the fact that his rival Israel Adesanya was recently dethroned by Sean Strickland.
Some fans may have thought that Pereira would be tempted to return now given that he already holds a KO victory over Strickland as recently as July of last year, but having trained with the new champion since then and become friends with him, he’s not interested in competing against him.
“No, no, it’s not in my plans,” Pereira said on The MMA Hour. “My plan was if Israel Adesanya was still the champion there, maybe win the light heavyweight belt and make a fight with him, but now, no. Sean is my friend and it’s not a weight cut I’m looking to do. I always make that weight, never miss weight or anything like that, but it is a hard weight cut. So, right now it’s not in my interest.”
Of course it helps that Pereira has already made an immediate impression in the UFC’s 205lb division, with a split-decision win over Jan Blachowicz at UFC 291 having led to a fight for the vacant light-heavyweight title against Jiri Prochazka at UFC 295 in November.