Heavyweight legend Alistair Overeem believes it’s just a matter of time before fighters figure out how to handle Alex Pereira.
UFC 295 saw ‘Poatan’ claim his second world title in as many divisions with a stunning second-round knockout of Jiri Prochazka in the evening’s headliner. For many, the victory solidified Pereira as one of the UFC’s greatest champions of all time, having already held middleweight gold courtesy of a fifth-round knockout against Israel Adesanya last year.
However, PRIDE and UFC icon Alistair Overeem doesn’t believe that is the case. During a recent interview, the ‘Demolition Man’ suggested that before long, fighters will figure out how to solve the puzzle that Pereira presents. Once they do, it’ll be over for the Brazilian heavy hitter.
“He’s interesting,” Overeem told talkSPORT.com. “Do I see him as a champion? No. I think, at this moment, they have difficulty figuring him out, but the moment they figure him out they are going to destroy him and that will be a tough time for him.”
Overeem Believes Pereira’s Lack of a Ground Game Will Be His Undoing
It’s no secret that Alex Pereira’s one major deficiency inside the Octagon is his ground game or lack thereof. Thus far, his impeccable striking skills have been able to stave off fighters from attempting to shoot in on him, but Overeem believes once someone cracks the code, it’ll be difficult for ‘Poatan’ to stay on top.
“I think he’s excellent in the striking department, but his jiu-jitsu and his grappling is not there,” Overeem added. “He’s so good in the striking department other fighters are unable to take him down. The moment they figure him out, striking-wise, it’ll be difficult for him.”
Alex Pereira is expected to defend his light heavyweight title against former champion Jamahal Hill once ‘Sweet Dreams’ recovers from a ruptured Achilles he suffered during a charity basketball game in July. Hill has not offered an anticipated timeline for return, but all signs point toward summer 2024, though he did not rule out the possibility of a return in time for the promotion’s next big milestone event, UFC 300.