Chris Weidman unsure of Alex Pereira’s ability to keep UFC title: ‘I see such an opening with the wrestling’

Chris Weidman unsure of Alex Pereira's ability to keep UFC title I see such an open with the wrestling

Whilst appearing to sell the majority of the mixed martial arts community on his dominance off the back of his stunning first round win over Jamahal Hill at UFC 300 earlier this month, Alex Pereira’s apparent wrestling shortcomings have caught the eye of former middleweight kingpin, Chris Weidman. 

Pereira, a former undisputed middleweight titleholder and the current undisputed light heavyweight champion, headlined UFC 300 earlier this month in a title fight return against ex-champion, Hill, turning in a dominant first round knockout win over the Illinois native.

Alex Pereira rejects UFC 308 clash with Magomed Ankalaev in Abu Dhabi I want to fight sooner
Mandatory Credit: Jeff Bottari – Zuffa LLC

As for Weidman, the former middleweight champion returned to the winner’s enclosure for the first time since his gruesome compound leg fracture back in 2021 with a controversial decision win over Bruno Silva at UFC Atlantic City last month.

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Chris Weidman admits he’s not sold on Alex Pereira

And linked with a title fight against surging Russian contender, Magomed Ankalaev as well as a heavyweight division leap in his return, Alex Pereira – as per Weidman, is likely there for the taking against a proficient wrestler and grappler, despite his thunderous knockout power.

Chris Weidman lands egregious decision win over Bruno Silva after multiple eye pokes UFC Atlantic City
Mandatory Credit: Jeff Bottari – Zuffa LLC

“It’s hard for me to get fully behind (Alex) Pereira, because I do see such an opening with the wrestling, and he hasn’t really fought wrestlers who will take advantage of that,” Chris Weidman said during an appearance on Believe You Me. “It’s hard to deal with, but it’s so crazy and it’s such a deficiency in what we’ve seen so far.”

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Alex Pereira tipped for success at heavyweight everybody is in trouble against him UFC
Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas – USA TODAY Sports

“It’s almost like Ben Askren coming into the UFC and being able to just become a multiple-time champion with no hands [striking],” Weidman explained. “It’s like a striker looking at Ben Askren and thinking, ‘How the hell is this guy the world champion?’ He was able to do it in Bellator, he was able to do it in ONE FC. The guy had an unbelievable MMA career and had no striking at all. It looked awful but he was so good at wrestling he was able to do it.”

Do you agree with Chris Weidman’s take on Alex Pereira’s ability?