Sean Strickland and Alex Pereira are reported to have verbally agreed to fight at UFC 277 on July 30th in Las Vegas.
It’s a somewhat surprising booking given that Strickland is the No.4 ranked contender at middleweight after compiling a six-fight winning streak over the past few years, which had led to talk of title contention.
However, the brash, outspoken fighter received some criticism for a cautious performance last time out during a split decision win over Jack Hermansson, with Strickland himself admitting that the pressure of being so close to a title shot had affected his approach to the fight.
That, together with his frequently controversial comments could be why he’s now facing an unranked yet very dangerous opponent in Pereira next.
The 34-year-old Pereira is a former Glory kickboxing middleweight and light-heavyweight champion who has also gained notoriety for holding two victories over current UFC middleweight champion Israel Adesanya in that sport.
Pereira has since gone on to compile a 5-1 record in MMA so far, including back-to-back wins over Andreas Michailidis and Bruno Silva since joining the UFC last year.
Strickland vs. Pereira is currently the only fight attached to UFC 277, which will follow on from what’s expected to be a star-studded UFC 276 event during International Fight Week in las Vegas earlier in the month of July.