Michel Pereira is a Brazilian mixed martial artist, and has taken the UFC welterweight division by storm with his dazzling and acrobatic combat sports style. Fans love him for his jaw-dropping spinning kicks, flying knees, and even backflips in the midst of bouts.
Since his professional MMA debut in 2011, Pereira has showcased his skills in various promotions – most notably the UFC.
Despite a mixed bag of results in his career, Pereira’s unorthodox combat sports style and captivating performances have earned him a devoted following among MMA enthusiasts. Notably at UFC Fight Night 230, Pereira made a dramatic entrance draped in an Israeli flag. However, this act of support sparked intense controversy.
The ongoing conflict between Israel and Palestine dates back to the 1940s and remains a deeply controversial issue. Pereira’s public support for Israel drew sharp criticism from the Palestinian community.
Addressing the backlash in an interview with The MMA Hour, Pereira revealed the extent of the threats.
Pereira made it clear that while he personally hadn’t received direct threats, his wife had been flooded with alarming messages. He adamantly stated that any attempt to harm his family would have severe consequences.
He stated: “I didn’t see much, but my wife received a lot of messages, a lot of threatening messages, to kill us. So I didn’t see it, but I’m going to let everyone know that if something happens, if someone comes to my house, they will pay.”
Sporting the Israeli flag, Pereira entered the octagon to face off against Andre Petroski at UFC Fight Night 230. This match marked his UFC middleweight debut, a shift from his usual welterweight battles due to weight-cutting difficulties.
Pereira’s skill in the division was on full display as he swiftly defeated Petroski with a strong right punch. The match was over in a mere 66 seconds, culminating in a TKO victory for Pereira.
At the press conference after the match, Pereira wore the Israeli flag as a reporter questioned him about it. He replied: “The decision was because of the war that is happening in Israel. I have a lot of friends there, and I saw a lot of videos that broke my heart.”
Moreover, Pereira emphasized that his allegiance to Israel stemmed from a genuine concern for the well-being of his friends in the nation.