Sean O'Malley seemingly believes that Alex Pereira could move up in weight to face UFC light heavyweight (205-pound) champion Jamahal Hill for a title bout.
Reigning UFC middleweight champion Pereira is widely regarded as one of the biggest MMA middleweights today and previously competed in higher weight classes in his kickboxing career. On that note, many foresee 'Poatan' potentially moving up to the UFC light heavyweight division.
In the latest edition of the Timbo Sugar show podcast, UFC bantamweight star 'Sugar' Sean O'Malley and his coach Tim Welch lauded Jamahal Hill for his incredible performance against Glover Teixeira. Hill dominantly defeated Teixeira via a unanimous decision to capture the UFC light heavyweight title earlier this month.
They further spoke about Hill possibly defending his title against former light heavyweight kingpin Jiri Prochazka when the latter returns from his ongoing shoulder injury hiatus.
Alternatively, O'Malley indicated that with Prochazka currently sidelined, Hill could defend his title against Alex Pereira instead. Tim Welch agreed with 'Sugar' and discussed Pereira's significant size advantage over most other middleweights.
Welch recalled Pereira's most recent fight, a fifth-round TKO win over Israel Adesanya last November. He pointed out that 'Poatan' made 'Izzy' retreat like a small middleweight and showcased brilliant striking. Furthermore, Welch labeled a potential Pereira-Hill matchup as a "guaranteed sick fight."
O'Malley, for his part, agreed with Welch. Moreover, 'Sugar' reiterated that Pereira could likely fight Hill in Prochazka's absence. Opining that the UFC needs interesting matchups right now, O'Malley stated:
"The way they were making that shoulder injury sound, [Prochazka could be out for] probably another year, at least." O'Malley added, "Alex Pereira probably will get that next [UFC light heavyweight title] fight. They need big fights. UFC needs sh** right now, poppin', and that's poppin'."
Watch O'Malley discuss the topic at 2:00 in the video below:
Chael Sonnen speculates that Alex Pereira could vacate the UFC middleweight title soon
Heading into the Jamahal Hill vs. Glover Teixeira matchup, MMA fighter-turned-analyst Chael Sonnen predicted that if Teixeira loses, the latter's training partner and friend Alex Pereira will move up to light heavyweight.
Speaking of which, Teixeira did lose to Hill. Following that, Sonnen once again suggested that Pereira will likely head to light heavyweight.
During a Q&A session on his YouTube channel, Chael Sonnen recently speculated that Alex Pereira could vacate the UFC middleweight, leaving Israel Adesanya and Robert Whittaker to fight for the vacant belt. He also insinuated that Pereira would likely have his sights set on Jamahal Hill's UFC light heavyweight title next. Sonnen said:
"But I also believe 185 [middleweight] is about to be a vacated title. I think that Pereira is going to move up."
Watch Sonnen's assessment below: