A fight between former light-heavyweight champion and former middleweight titleholder Alex Pereira has been announced as the co-main event for UFC 291 on July 29th in Salt Lake City, Utah.
The booking confirms Pereira’s move up to 205lbs after having lost the middleweight title to his long-time rival Israel Adesanya after being KO’d in the 2nd round at UFC 287 last month.
Given that Pereira had won the title with a 5th round TKO of Adesanya last November and had also beaten him twice in kickboxing competition several years ago there had initially been an expectation that another fight between the two might be around the corner, but it seems that Pereira fancies his chances at light-heavyweight instead.
And certainly a win over a former champion in Blachowicz, who is currently ranked No.3 in the division could well put Pereira into the title picture at 205lbs.
The 40-year-old Blachowicz is coming off a split-draw against Magomed Ankalaev in December in what was supposed to be a fight to establish a new light-heavyweight champion. However, due to the result and the underwhelming nature of the fight, the two were not given another chance to fight for the belt, and instead Jamahal Hill would be crowned the 205lb king instead after beating Glover Teixeira a month later.
During his own reign as champion, Blachowicz had actually made a successful defense of the title against Pereira’s rival Adesanya, and so he’ll now be hoping to replicate that feat with a win over the Brazilian kickboxing ace too.