Former UFC middleweight champion Alex Pereira impresses in his UFC light heavyweight debut, securing a split decision victory over Jan Blachowicz. Read more about the fight and the importance of rankings in MMA.
Former UFC middleweight champion Alex Pereira made his highly anticipated UFC light heavyweight debut on Saturday night at UFC 291 in Salt Lake City, Utah. Going up against former light heavyweight champ Jan Blachowicz, Pereira showcased his skills and proved that he belongs at the top of the UFC light heavyweight division.
In a thrilling co-main event, Pereira secured a split decision victory over Blachowicz, solidifying his place in the rankings. The former two-division Glory kickboxing world champion now holds the No. 3 spot in the light heavyweight division, previously held by Blachowicz.
The fight was a closely contested battle, with Blachowicz dominating the first round and Pereira bouncing back in the second. It all came down to the third round, where Pereira’s superior standup skills gave him the edge. Although Blachowicz managed a late takedown, he failed to capitalize on it, ultimately leading to a 10-9 round in favor of Pereira.
This victory marks Pereira’s return to the octagon since losing the UFC middleweight title to Israel Adesanya in April. Despite his impressive performance, it’s worth noting that Pereira has been removed from the middleweight rankings, highlighting the inconsistency in the UFC’s ranking system.
Pereira has expressed his desire for a middleweight trilogy fight with Adesanya, emphasizing his preference to compete in his natural weight class. However, the UFC rankings have often rewarded fighters who move up in weight despite missing weight for their fights.
In another notable matchup at UFC 291, Kevin Holland secured a significant win over Michael Chiesa in the welterweight division. With this victory, Holland climbed the rankings, surpassing Ian Machado Garry and trailing just behind Neil Magny.
Unfortunately, Pereira’s scheduled bout against Stephen "Wonderboy" Thompson did not materialize due to Pereira’s failure to make weight. Thompson made the commendable decision to decline the fight, highlighting the importance of fighters making weight and maintaining the integrity of the rankings.
Rankings play a crucial role in the sport, influencing matchmaking and contract negotiations. While they may be subjective, they should primarily reflect a fighter’s results rather than potential or popularity. It’s essential to continue the conversation about rankings and share your thoughts on the matter.
|Alex Pereira vs. Jan Blachowicz||Split Decision (Pereira)|
|Kevin Holland vs. Michael Chiesa||Unanimous Decision (Holland)|
Let’s discuss the rankings and whether you agree or disagree with the Ranking Review. Share your opinions in the comments below.