Dana White dismisses Alex Pereira's claim of being guaranteed a UFC title shot after Jan Błachowicz victory
Alex Pereira and Dana White don't appear to be on the same page. The power-punching Brazilian is currently scheduled to face heavy-handed Jan Błachowicz at UFC 291. 'Poatan' recently lost his UFC middleweight title to longtime rival Israel Adesanya and hopes to find a new path at light heavyweight.
He claimed that a win over Jan Błachowicz, who is no stranger to defeating middleweight kings making their light heavyweight MMA debuts, will guarantee him a title shot at 205 pounds. UFC president Dana White, however, said otherwise at the UFC on ESPN 46 post-fight press conference.
White claimed that, while beating Błachowicz would surely strengthen Pereira's position for a title fight, it by no means guarantees it. He asserted that nothing is ever guaranteed, which is likely something that 'Poatan' does not want to hear given the quick turnaround he's making after suffering a brutal knockout loss.
"Nothing is ever guaranteed, but if he beats Jan, he's in a pretty damn good spot. Not a bad place to be, if you beat Jan."
The upcoming bout isn't the first time that Alex Pereira would be fighting at 205 pounds. He was previously the Glory light heavyweight champion as a kickboxer. It is, however, his first journey to light heavyweight as an MMA fighter. His quick turnaround is what has caused concern among several fans.
'Poatan' was knocked out by Israel Adesanya in early April. Fighters typically observe a six-month absence after a knockout loss. But not only is Pereira returning to action much quicker, he is also doing so against a powerful striker in Jan Błachowicz.
While there's no guarantee that he'll lose the bout, he is not in the best possible position to take the bout, having not given himself the recommended recovery time after a knockout loss. Furthermore, a second consecutive KO loss could severely damage fan interest in his fights and lead to questions about his chin.
When was the last time Alex Pereira fought at 205 pounds?
Alex Pereira has never fought at light heavyweight as a mixed martial artist. He has, however, conquered the 205-pound weight class as a kickboxer. At Glory 77, he faced Artem Vakhitov. At the time, 'Poatan' was the Glory middleweight champion, while Vakhitov held the light heavyweight strap.
After a closely-contested bout, Alex Pereira emerged victorious and made history by becoming Glory's first-ever simultaneous two-division champion. While a matchup with Jamahal Hill in the UFC could be his chance to become a two-division champion in MMA, he must first get past Jan Błachowicz.