EXCLUSIVE – Alex Pereira tipped to struggle in UFC light heavyweight move: ‘He’s gonna have problems’

Alex Pereira tipped to struggle in UFC light heavyweight move he's gonna have some problems

Slated to make his light heavyweight division move later this year, former UFC middleweight champion, Alex Pereira has been backed to struggle in his move to 205lbs by former title challenger, Anthony Smith – who touts the Brazilian’s size for the division, albeit. 

Pereira, who headlined UFC 287 earlier this month in a title rematch against Israel Adesanya, dropped his undisputed middleweight crown in an eventual second round KO to the latter, suffering his first defeat in the promotion to boot.

Seeing an immediate title trilogy rubber match with Adesanya shot down, Sao Paulo striker, Alex Pereira – who had held gold at the light heavyweight and middleweight limit under the GLORY Kickboxing banner, confirmed he would be moving to the 205lbs ranks next.

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Anthony Smith expects Alex Pereira to face some problems at light heavyweight

Despite being picked to handily defeat the likes of Jiri Prochazka, and champion, Jamahal Hill in the coming years to win division gold, Pereira has also been tipped to struggle to transition at light heavyweight – according to Nebraska native Smith. 

“It is what it is – it’s just another dude,” Anthony Smith told LowKick MMA reporter, James Lynch during a recent interview. “I think he’s (Alex Pereira) gonna have problems at 205 [pounds]. “He’s a monster light heavyweight. Like, put that dude next to Aleksandar Rakic and that dude will make him look tiny. He’s just a regular-sized 205er in the top seven or eight.”

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“Obviously, I’m a little bit on the smaller side compared to some of those guys,” Smith continued. “Jan Blachowicz is big. Jiri Prochazka is big. Jamahal Hill is big. Magomed Ankalaev is big. Aleksandar Rakic is absolutely huge. His size was a huge advantage at 185. I think he’s great. I think he’s a fantastic striker. There’s more grapplers and guys that are – I guess I can’t really say that, there are a lot of grapplers at 185, too. Just none that he ran into. Ankalaev would get a takedown on him, it’s just if Pereira can get up. I would rather see him with Rakic.” 

Clinching the middleweight title back in November of last year at Madison Square Garden, Pereira rekindled his rivalry with Adesanya – shocking the Nigerian-Kiwi with a stunning come-from-behind fifth round standing TKO victory.