Alex Pereira has evolved.
The new Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) middleweight kingpin picked up his biggest career victory to date, defeating Israel Adesanya for the third time in combat sports at UFC 281 last weekend ( November 12, 2022). Although Pereira finished the fight with his powerful punches in the fifth round (watch highlights), the overall effort in the 20+ minute affair was enough to see him promoted to his jiu-rankings. jitsu by his team last night (Tuesday Nov 15, 2022).
“You don’t know, Alex was already involved in jiu-jitsu back then,” Pereira’s trainer Plinio Cruz said via an Instagram video embedded above. “He was trained to submit every fight. As you know he is an MMA fighter, now the best fighter on the planet, beating one of the best fighters of all time. But you know that Alex also follows jiu-jitsu. He’s showing progress, he’s showing respect, he’s showing a thirst for learning because it’s mixed martial arts, not just kickboxing.
“So that said, if you saw that fight on Saturday… takedowns, sweeps, leg locks, almost like a real jiu-jitsu guy,” he continued. “But the main part of jiu-jitsu is not about submitting. It’s not about winning. It’s about surviving. And in the most difficult circumstances, he used jiu-jitsu to survive He survived and in the end he got up and knocked the guy out. It takes a very high level guy in the head, in the heart, in the technique. Because of that I believe and our coaches think we want to reward him with a brown belt.
Although Adesanya isn’t the most dangerous grappler Pereira could be loaded with at 185 pounds, he nevertheless tested Pereira when they met. That ultimately wouldn’t be enough, however, and Adesanya hopes to have another fight with “Poatan” for everyone’s next outing.
For the full UFC 281: “Adesanya Vs. Pereira” results and play-by-play, click HERE.