Alex Pereira needed three fights in order to earn a shot at the middleweight title. When it comes to the light heavyweight championship, he may only need one.
On Saturday night, ‘Poatan’ scored another big win inside the Octagon, leaving Salt Lake City with a split decision victory over former 205-pound king Jan Blachowicz. With a W over the No. 3 ranked contender in the division, Alex Pereira could very well be next in line for a shot at the vacant light heavyweight title.
Following his victory at UFC 291, Alex Pereira made it abundantly clear that a shot at the 205-pound title is the next logical step and the only thing that interests him.
“My focus is always the belt,” Pereira said through an interpreter during his post-fight interview. “I want to fight for the belt, it doesn’t matter against who.”
Is Alex Pereira vs. Jiri Prochazka the Fight to Make?
Currently, the light heavyweight strap is without an owner after Jamahal Hill vacated the title after sustaining an injury that could leave him on the sidelines for the next year. Meanwhile, former champion Jiri Prochazka is nearing a return to the Octagon this fall, potentially setting the stage for a clash between Pereira and Prochazka.
Recent rumors have also suggested that reigning middleweight champion Israel Adesanya could once again venture to the land of the light heavyweights for a potential trilogy bout with his Brazilian boogeyman at 205. For the moment though, it looks like ‘The Last Stylebender’ will stay put at 185 for a title tilt with outspoken middleweight contender and former Pereira opponent, Sean Strickland.
As for Jan Blachowicz, the Polish standout is now winless in three of his last four, including a split draw against Magomed Ankalaev last year. Considering the close nature of his loss to Pereira, Blachowicz could earn himself a rematch but the former champ definitely has some work to do before he can get another crack at the light heavyweight title.