Chris Weidman compares Alex Pereira’s wrestling “deficiency” to Ben Askren’s striking

By Cole Shelton - April 23, 2024

Chris Weidman thinks there is a major hole in Alex Pereira’s game, and he’s comparing it to Ben Askren’s striking.

Chris Weidman and Alex Pereira

Pereira is coming off the first defense of his light heavyweight title as he scored a first-round knockout win over Jamahal Hill in the main event of UFC 300. Pereira hasn’t even been in the UFC for three full years and already has won titles in two different weight classes.

It’s been a historic rise for Alex Pereira, but Chris Weidman thinks his wrestling is still a major flaw in his game.

“It’s hard for me to get fully behind Pereira because I do see such an opening with the wrestling, and he hasn’t really fought wrestlers,” Weidman said on the “Believe You Me” podcast (via MMAJunkie). “It’s almost so crazy, and it’s such a deficiency based on what we’ve seen so far. It’s almost like Ben Askren coming into the UFC and being able to just become a multiple-time champion with no hands.

“It’s like a striker looking at Ben Askren and thinking, ‘How the hell is this guy the world champion?’ He was able to do it in Bellator, he was able to do it (in ONE Championship). I mean, the guy had an unbelievable MMA career and he had no striking at all. … This guy’s almost the opposite. I would almost say he’s as bad (at) wrestling as Ben Askren is with striking.”

Pereira hasn’t had to show much of his wrestling in his UFC career, but he has been working on it with Glover Teixeira and has received a BJJ black belt for his efforts. However, Chris Weidman says it’s weird that Alex Pereira will go down as one of the greatest fighters ever when there is such a flaw in his game.

“This guy may go down as one of the best fighters of all time,” Weidman said. “It is weird to see. I don’t know if it’s just the matchups or the evolution of the sport.”

Despite Weidman thinking there is a flaw in Pereira’s game with his wrestling, the Brazilian is has been able to keep his fights standings and knock his opponents out.