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Alex Pereira’s Offical Status for Tom Aspinall Confirmed by UFC 300 Star’s Team

Published 04/18/2024, 3:48 AM EDT

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UFC 300 featured a clash between giants as Alex Pereira defended his light heavyweight title against Jamahal Hill by knocking the ‘Sweet Dreams’ out of him in the very first round. ‘Poatan’ then took the mic to let it be known that he would be ready to fight at UFC 301 if Dana White gave him a chance at the heavyweight division. However, seems like the callout might not materialize after all.

Right after the explosive KO, an enthusiastic Pereir͏a announced to the world that he was ready to h͏eadline UFC͏ 301 just three weeks removed from UFC 300. Regardless, his manager has hinted that P͏ereira may need to take a fleeting break from fighting.͏ Besides, there’s also speculation tha͏t P͏ereira might return to ͏fac͏e Tom Aspinall͏ in the future, but n͏ot immediately.

Alex Pereira could stay away from the cage for a while!

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UFC’s new face, Alex Pereira has just eight fights inside the Octagon but he has already defeated five champions and/or former champions in the promotion. Adding another feather to his cap, Pereira’s UFC 300 win made him the first fighter to defend the light heavyweight belt against a light heavyweight contender since 2020, when Jon Jones vacated it. In his last outing, Pereira called out Dana White to give him a fight at the heavyweight division, and soon after Tom Aspinall added a photo on his Instagram handle targeting Pereira.

Speculation about their fight has been ensuing even before UFC 300, but Alex Pereira’s manager Jorge Guimarães in his latest interview with ‘MMA Fighting’ stated that the light heavyweight champion might have to rest. “He has another broken toe.. celebrate the victory. Maybe [go to Brazil] to watch the event, but no fights for him… I don’t think [fighting Pereira] is a good idea for Aspinall at this moment.”

Talking about Pereira’s potential clash with Tom Aspinall, Guimarães added, “We have to see what’s going to happen. I think it’s still too premature. Aspinall is the interim champion. Why would he risk fighting ‘Poatan?’ I don’t think it makes much sense [for Aspinall], I don’t think it’s a good idea [for Aspinall]. For us, it is [a good idea].”

The UFC raised a fair share of eyebrows when they put their top Brazilian stars on UFC 300 and scheduled UFC 301 for Brazil just three weeks after the marquee event. This meant Brazil would not get to see their favorite stars like Charles Oliveria and Jessica Andrade compete on home territory. But there’s more to Pereira’s call to headline UFC 301 than just the desire to compete in front of his people.

Later in the interview, Guimarães said, “He says his time is running out, and he wants to achieve the most he can.” At 36, Pereira certainly is not too old for the 205 lbs or 265 lbs division. But he wants to make hay while the sun is shining, rather than take the route Jon Jones and Stipe Miocic are taking now.

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The former GLORY Kickboxing double champion recently shot down Magomed Ankalaev’s callout for a fight in Abu Dhabi in October because he did not want to wait that long for a fight. Does that mean a heavyweight debut is likely to happen in the upcoming months?

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“He has the desire, and I’ll tell you this, he’s going to do an incredible job at heavyweight… He’s a super tough fight for anyone in the heavyweight division as well. He’s hungry to fight… He’s extremely confident, and I think he would shine at heavyweight. Let’s see what the UFC has on the table for us, but he won’t be fighting in Rio de Janeiro,” added Guimarães. While the Brazilian’s camp is confident in his prospects, a UFC veteran from Aspinall’s home country begs to differ.

Michael Bisping has cautious advice for the light heavyweight champion

Facing Tom Aspinall is no joke. The last time, Aspinall fought, he knocked out Sergei Pavlovich in mere seconds thus winning the interim heavyweight belt. The young Britisher is planning to fight for the heavyweight belt but the champion, Jon Jones is seemingly avoiding him, albeit due to his injuries and controversies. Amidst all these, Michael Bisping has come forward to state that Alex Pereria should stay out of Aspinall’s way.

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“The real danger against Tom Aspinall is in the grappling. Tom has a ridiculously high fight IQ and ridiculously high skills. Right now, I don’t think the thing to do for Alex Pereira is to fight Tom Aspinall,” said Bisping on his YouTube handle. ‘The Count’ further explained that Pereira should fight Magomed Ankalaev next.

Alex Pereira might stay out of the Octagon for some time but he might be planning to take the heavyweight belt as well. Nonetheless, what’s your take on Pereira’s decision for a heavyweight fight? State your thoughts in the comments below.

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Written by:

Suryakant Das

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Suryakant Das is a UFC writer at EssentiallySports. His fascination with combat sports was sparked by gleeful moments he shared with his father watching wrestling. An ardent fan of UFC star Charles Oliveira, Surya closely follows the sport and keeps tabs on behind-the-scenes action.
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Edited by:

Joyita Das