Dana White explains apprehension to allow Alex Pereira to pursue heavyweight title shot after UFC 303

By Curtis Calhoun - June 30, 2024

UFC CEO Dana White isn’t keen on the idea of Alex Pereira moving up to heavyweight to potentially cement himself into the history books.

Dana White, Alex Pereira

Pereira defeated former titleholder Jiří Procházka in the UFC 303 main event on Saturday night in Las Vegas. Just seconds into the second round, Pereira caught Procházka with a head kick to retain the belt.

After Pereira aced his latest Octagon test, pundits including Joe Rogan pitched the UFC light heavyweight champion possibly moving up to heavyweight. The UFC star has hinted at fighting at least one time at heavyweight before he hangs up the gloves.

Superfights between Pereira and Jon Jones, Tom Aspinall, and the other top heavyweights could set pay-per-view records. Despite this, White feels Pereira still has a ways to go in the division he reigns.

Dana White clarifies stance on Alex Pereira at heavyweight


During the UFC 303 post-fight press conference, White was asked about his lack of excitement for Pereira’s potential heavyweight move.

“It’s not that I’m not into it, the guy was a middleweight, then moves up to light heavyweight. He’s had a couple fights there, defended his title, but it’s not like this guy has been in the division for two years and he ran through everyone that’s in the division,” White said of Pereira. “I think that when you think about…when those two squared off, these guys are f***ing monsters, man. They’re big guys. Imagine they were both middleweights at one time…as good as Jon Jones is, when Jon Jones was moving up to heavyweight, we were like ‘This is gonna be interesting’…

“It wasn’t…if he cleaned out a division and there was no one left for this guy to fight, and he’s 37…but that’s not the case. He was 230[lbs] today… Chuck Liddell and Forrest Griffin used to walk around at 230 and cut to 205. That’s not big, some of these heavyweights are cutting [a lot of weight] to 265. That’s the problem with the conversation we’re having, and why people aren’t giving Jon Jones the respect for pound-for-pound.”

White’s comments are a bit surprising, given his past tendency to welcome multi-division championship pursuits. But, as Jones gets ready to face Stipe Miocic later this year, the heavyweight title picture is already clogged with talent.

Pereira is one of the top pound-for-pound MMA fighters just a handful of fights into his professional career. He captured the then-vacant light heavyweight title at UFC 295 before defeating Jamahal Hill in April.

If Pereira captured a third division title, he would be the first UFC fighter to accomplish such a feat. But, it seems that White has other plans in mind for Pereira before he dives into uncharted waters.

This article appeared first on BJPENN.COM


Alex Pereira Dana White