Preparations for UFC 276 are well underway and it’s come out that the winner of Strickland vs Pereira is likely to be the next contender.
In the same event, Israel Adesanya will defend his middleweight championship against Jared Cannonier. The winner will be facing the victor of Pereira vs. Strickland according to Pereira’s manager.
Alex Pereira’s manager spoke to the Trocacao Franca podcast. He said:
“It’s already agreed, the decision has been made.”
“Whoever wins the fight between Sean Strickland and Alex will face the winner of Jared Cannonier and ‘Izzy,’ Israel Adesanya. It’s a deal.”
Pereira has a record of 2-0 in the UFC thus far. However, he came in with a 33-7 kickboxing record and two GLORY title belts.
More notably, Pereira has two victories against Israel Adesanya. One of them is a decisive victory, while the other is a brutal third-round knockout. Adesanya’s last kickboxing match ended in a loss.
While the UFC has offered Alex Pereira and Sean Strickland a No. 1 contender place if they win, Israel Adesanya’s team has not committed to facing Pereira.
Adesanya’s coach, Eugene Bareman, recently talked to Submission Radio. He said that Pereira’s UFC résumé was still too shaky for a run at the title.
“It would be nice for Strickland to win, because Strickland’s body of work is good enough to fight for a title. Whereas if Pereira wins, he’s still got to do more work.”
“I don’t have a deep-seeded need to go and fight Pereira and get revenge, if that’s what you’re saying. Maybe Israel does. For him, I don’t think he does. I don’t think it concerns him at all.”
“I think Pereira’s just another fighter trying to make his way to the champion, who’s beat the champion in a completely different sport. I just don’t think Israel even thinks about it too hard. I definitely don’t.”
If Pereira were to defeat loudmouthed Sean Strickland, he would become the 3rd fighter in recent history to get a title shot with just 3 fights under his belt. Previously Michael Chandler and Jiri Prochazka were given the chance to contend for the title despite only starting in the promotion.