Sean O’Malley has chimed in on Sean Strickland’s scheduled fight against kickboxing veteran Alex Pereira. Strickland is currently tied with Paulo Costa and Derek Brunson in the UFC middleweight rankings, as all three of them are ranked number four.
Meanwhile, Pereira isn’t even ranked in the top-15 of the UFC middleweight division. Regardless, many in the MMA community view the Brazilian combat sports veteran as a threat to anyone in the UFC 185-pound division.
Pereira is a former Glory middleweight and light heavyweight champion in the sport of kickboxing. Additionally, the Brazilian has a pair of victories over reigning UFC middleweight champion Israel Adesanya, albeit in kickboxing bouts. ‘Poatan’ also holds the distinction of being the only fighter to have KO'd Adesanya in a professional combat sports bout.
ESPN MMA’s Brett Okamoto recently reported that Strickland and Pereira have verbally agreed to a fight at UFC 277 on July 30th. In an edition of The BrOMalley Show, UFC bantamweight Sean O’Malley and his brother Daniel O’Malley discussed the aforesaid Strickland-Pereira matchup.
‘Suga’ credited Strickland for agreeing to put his coveted spot in the middleweight rankings on the line to face a dangerous unranked fighter like Pereira. Sean O’Malley stated:
“What a beast Sean Strickland is for saying ‘fu** it, I’ll fight him’ – Like, that’s putting his number up there. And like, Alex isn’t like, Pereira isn’t like a star. [Strickland] is doing him a huge fu**ing favor.” Additionally, in response to Daniel O’Malley suggesting that Pereira is a bad matchup for Strickland, Sean O’Malley simply asserted, “Sean Strickland’s crazy. He’s a beast. He’s gangster.”
Watch Sean O’Malley discuss the Strickland-Pereira fight and more below:
Sean Strickland on his upcoming fight against Alex Pereira
In a recent interview with Helen Yee, Sean Strickland opened up about his upcoming clash against Alex Pereira. ‘Tarzan’ acknowledged the danger Pereira poses, particularly in the striking realm of the fight, but asserted that he’s looking forward to it nonetheless. Strickland said:
"With [Alex Pereira], it's like, this, kind of like, scary thing. Like, it kind of gets me excited, you know. You see him, you're like, ‘Oh man, like, you're a big scary-looking kickboxer. I want to fight you.’ So, I do like the fact that he does have that unknown factor, you know. New blood. I mean, new blood."
Watch the entire interview below:
Strickland alluded to the fact that fellow top-tier middleweights Robert Whittaker and Marvin Vettori have both lost twice respectively to current UFC middleweight champion Israel Adesanya. Speaking of which, 'Tarzan' emphasized that the winner of the matchup between himself and Pereira ought to receive the next shot at the UFC middleweight title.