In a display of solidarity, Brazilian UFC combatant Michel Pereira made a striking entrance on October 14. He proudly carried an Israeli flag as he prepared for his bout at UFC Vegas 81.
This unexpected gesture left many began to wonder whether Pereira (who was born in Para, Brazil), had any links to Israel.
During the press conference after the match, Pereira took a moment to shed light on his decision to bear the Israeli flag. He emphasized that this act was driven by his friendships in Israel and a heartfelt desire to stand by the nation in its ongoing struggle against Hamas.
Pereira stated: “It is because of the war. I have many friends in Israel, and I saw same videos that broke my heart. I have a kid now, and I saw some videos with kids… I felt like I had to show support to Israel.”
Michel Pereira’s display of solidarity occurred just days after the UFC reversed its policy on competitors carrying their respective national flags.
In the highly-anticipated middleweight showdown on the main card, Pereira faced off against Andre Petroski. The contest proved to be brief, as the Brazilian swiftly secured victory by knocking out Petroski within the opening minutes of the match.
With this spectacular win, Pereira extended his impressive winning streak to an enviable 6-0. This further solidified his position as a formidable force in the UFC arena.
— Project Sativa (@MyceliumG) October 14, 2023
Pereira said that he would continue to stay in the 185 pounds division and that he intended to enter the octagon as soon as possible.
During his interview with Michael Bisping, Pereira said via an interpreter: “Five canceled fights, I’ve had so much adversity. I think I need to stay at middleweight. … I need one more fight. One weeks. Two weeks.”
Michel Pereira’s actions resonate not only as a display of support for a nation in turmoil but also as a testament to the strength of friendships forged.