Former undisputed middleweight champion, Alex Pereira insists he was laying in wait for a light heavyweight divisional bow against fellow former Octagon gold holder, Jan Blachowicz – as the duo agree to fight at UFC 291 on July 29. 

Pereira, the current #1 ranked middleweight challenger, is slated to make a quickfire summer return to the Octagon this year, having dropped the undisputed division title in a title rematch with four-fight foe, Israel Adesanya.

Headlining UFC 287 back in April, Pereira dropped the title in spectacular fashion, suffering his first career loss to Nigerian-Kiwi striker, Adesanya, courtesy of a stunning second round KO in Miami, Florida. 

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Now slated to return in a light heavyweight division climb later this year, Sao Paulo striker, Pereira is set to draw Polish veteran and former division titleholder, Blachowicz at the Delta Center in Salt Lake City, Utah in the co-main event of UFC 291.

Sharing his thoughts on the pairing, Pereira admitted that a showdown with the former KSW champion to boot, will prove to be dangerous for him.

Alex Pereira claims he called for a light heavyweight debut with Jan Blachowicz

Furthermore, the Brazilian phenom claimed that he was laying in wait to land a fight with Blachowicz, as he prepares for a light heavyweight excursion.

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“Everybody knows (Jan) Blachowicz is a dangerous guy, an all-rounder,” Alex Pereira said on his YouTube channel. “But I think it’s a good first fight for me [at light heavyweight]. When Is ay my first fight, some people will think, ‘Oh, that’s an easy opponent.’ No, all of you know my story. I wasn middleweight champion. So, for sure, they [the UFC] wanted to give me one of the top-five ranked [fighters].”

“For me, it wasn’t a surprise,” Alex Pereira explained. “We were negotiating for a while. I was waiting for him [Jan Blachowicz]. So that’s it. I’m happy about the fight.” 

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Aspiring mixed martial arts reporter based in Ireland. Follow along at @Ross_Markey on Twitter for all the latest news, fight announcements, opinion, and feature pieces.