Back in November at UFC 295, Pereira defeated former 205-pound titleholder Jiri Prochazka to claim the vacant light heavyweight crown. Through this victory, Pereira achieved UFC gold for the second time since his debut with the organization in November 2021.
Prior to making the jump up in weight, Pereira overcame Israel Adesanya with a dramatic fifth round TKO. But only five months later, Adesanya returned the favor with a second round knockout of his own in their rematch.
For his first fight in the light heavyweight division, Pereira faced a tough challenge in former champion Jan Blachowicz. He managed to come out on top in a narrow margined split decision, awarding him the opportunity to fight Prochazka for the title.
Tom Aspinall and Alex Pereira offering us breadcrumbs. pic.twitter.com/5iwNnbx5Qz
— Oscar Willis (@oscarswillis) December 23, 2023
Earlier this month, Pereira teased his Instagram followers with a post that seemed to indicate he may want to move up in weight once again. Meanwhile, Aspinall posted an image that pointed to a possible fight between the pair.
Just a few short days after the rumors formed, Pereira shut them down in a recent interview with The Mac Life. But, he explained that he could make the move to heavyweight eventually, it is just not what he is focused on right now.
“Well, he fought at middleweight and I had to listen to my body to go up to fight at light heavyweight, my body said I had to go up. I’m a fighter, I’ll fight anyone, I have the height and the size of a heavyweight but this is something that has to be programmed, do some work on, it’s not something I just jump in on an adventure. I want to make things in the right way, I can fight at heavyweight in the future, but I have to be well-planned, so right now my focus is on my light heavyweight reign,”