Alex Pereira isn’t buying Jamahal Hill’s promise to keep things standing in their inevitable UFC title clash

Alex Pereira

Newly crowned light heavyweight champion Alex Pereira isn’t buying Jamahal Hill’s promise to keep things standing during their inevitable UFC title clash in 2024.

Earlier this month, ‘Poatan’ claimed his second world title in as many divisions when he bested returning former champion Jiri Prochazka with a stunning second-round knockout in the UFC 295 headliner. The victory not only established Pereira as one of the greatest champions in the history of the promotion, but it also set the stage for a showdown between himself and the man who never technically lost the title, Jamahal Hill.

Hill sat atop the throne at 205 until suffering a ruptured Achilles during a charity basketball game in July. Facing a lengthy layoff, ‘Sweet Dreams’ relinquished the title, paving the way for Alex Pereira’s historic win.

Eyeing a potential return in summer 2024, Jamahal Hill has made the promise to keep things standing and put Pereira’s lights out when the two superstars meet inside the Octagon.

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During a during a live YouTube Q&A session, Alex Pereira expressed doubt that Hill will follow through with his promise.

“Everybody saw that he was saying he will knock me out and he won’t wrestle me, he will stay in the striking and he will knock me out,” Pereira said via a Portuguese translator. “Sure, obviously every guy who could be the next [challenger] for the champion will start talking, but I think he’s a little bit [overconfident].

“I never said I will knock someone out or whatever because you are in a fight camp, you prepare yourself, you have to focus on the fight, and I always say I will give you guys a good fight and a good show, but predicting what happens is a little bit difficult and I think he’s a little bit [overconfident] with everything that he’s saying” (h/t MMA Fighting).

Alex Pereira Proves Himself at 205

After claiming the middleweight title with a fifth-round KO of Israel Adesanya last year, Alex Pereira was determined to prove his worth at 205. Over the summer, he scored a closely contested win against former titleholder Jan Blachowicz which set the stage for his scrap with Prochazka inside Madison Square Garden.

“I think I proved myself in the light heavyweight division with the fight against Jiri, winning the title, and obviously, as well, with the fight against Jan Blachowicz,” Pereira said. “If I would compare these three fighters — Jamahal, Jan, and Jiri — and someone would tell me like, ‘Hey, choose one you would like to fight,’ I would choose Jamahal because I think he’s a good opponent for me and I think it’s just a little bit too much [for him] as well, looking at my story, my history in kickboxing, to say, ‘I will stand striking and I will knock him out.’

“Because all the people are always trying it and I’m sure he wants to strike, but when he sees it’s not working, he will go on the ground as well. This is what happened in the other fights too. I think Jamahal is a good fight for me, and I think he was a little bit [overconfident] with his statement.”

With just 11 professional mixed martial arts bouts, Alex Pereira has already joined an elite list by capturing UFC championships in two different divisions. He is also the fastest fighter to do so, only needing seven fights inside the Octagon to get there.

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