UFC welterweight Michel Pereira has no plans on ending his backflips and somersaults.
Pereira is one of the flashiest strikers in the UFC. He debuted with the promotion with an impressive theatric-filled knockout victory over Danny Roberts. However, his last outing wasn’t as successful.
Pereira gassed out in his three-round fight against promotional newcomer Tristan Connelly at UFC Vancouver in September and ended up losing the decision. He faced a barrage of criticism afterwards for performing a number of flips before and during the fight which amounted to nothing.
However, the Brazilian claimed he gassed out due to a botched weight cut — which is why he is going to continue with the theatrics in his next fight against Diego Sanchez:
“I’ll do it,” Pereira told MMA Fighting. “I’ve been criticized ever since I got in the UFC. It’s not something normal to see, not everyone does that, but this is my style. To me, it’s like throwing a jab. I’ll do it. Get ready for a show.”
Pereira faces Sanchez at UFC Rio Rancho on February 15 with the latter being his biggest opponent yet name-wise. However, Pereira initially had to look Sanchez up first:
“I had to look it up,” Pereira said. “I’m actually really bad with names [laughs], but then I look at a picture or something like that, and I knew who that was. I haven’t watched much of his (recent) fights; I’ve only watched one fight to find out who they were talking about. I don’t watch fights that much.
“I don’t know about his losses (or) his record because we’re still too far from the fight. I don’t know if he should retire or not, but based on his age, I don’t know if he will be ready to fight me.”
Sanchez recently saw a two-fight winning run end following a unanimous decision defeat to Michael Chiesa earlier this year. But despite being 37, “The Nightmare” is more than capable of defeating younger fighters as he did when he faced Mickey Gall.
However, Pereira is confident that he will be too much for the veteran:
“This guy has a history in the UFC, fans love him, (and) he’s done great fights,” Pereira added. “It’s only my third fight in the UFC and I’m getting a big name like him. This is very important for my career. I’m glad to be fighting him. He’s done great things in MMA and I’m sure we’ll put on a show for the MMA fans.
“I never thought about fighting him, but the opportunity came. I’ll fight him like I’m fighting any other athlete. I wasn’t surprised or thinking, ‘wow, it’s Diego Sanchez.’ It’s just another fight for me. His time has passed. It’s my time now. New generation.”
How do you see Pereira vs. Sanchez playing out?