The only man who has been able to knock out current Ultimate Fighting Championship middleweight kingpin Israel Adesanya is about to make his promotional debut, as former kickboxing star Alex Pereira locks horns with Andreas Michailidis in a 185-pound clash.
The fight will take place at PPV event UFC 268, on November 6, multiple sources with knowledge of the situation informed BJPENN.com. The sources asked for anonymity since the news hasn’t been officially announced. The fight will take place at Madison Square Garden in New York City, New York.
Both sides have verbally agreed to the bout, and all that is left is for the contracts to be signed, per multiple sources.
The news of Pereira signing with the UFC was originally reported by The Telegraaf.
Alex Pereira is a decorated kickboxer, with a winning record of 33 victories and 6 losses. Two of these wins are over the UFC undisputed champion, Israel Adesanya. Pereira’s accomplishments also included middleweight and light heavyweight Glory’s belts.
The Brazilian kickboxer isn’t completely new to mixed martial arts, though, as he made his MMA debut in 2015 in the Brazilian promotion Jungle Fight. He lost that first MMA scrap, but eventually bounced back in 2016, winning two consecutive fights. Then, he took a hiatus from MMA and returned into the cage in November 2020 in Legacy Fighting Alliance, when he brutally knocked out Thomas Powell in the first round.
In a previous interview with BJPenn.com’s Adam Martin, Alex Pereira said he was impressed by Adesanya but doesn’t believe Adesanya would fight him again.
“I don’t think Adesanya would be interested in that fight. I beat him twice and I’m the only man to KO him. We never know what the future holds. It could happen someday,” Pereira hopes.
On the other hand, the Greek middleweight Andreas Michailidis is going to make his third UFC appearance. In his two previous fights, he scored an even record of one win against KB Bhullar, and one loss in the light heavyweight division against Modestas Bukauskas.
One of Michialidis’s main goals is to put his home country on the map, as he previously stated in an interview on BJPENN.com.
“I am the second Greece-born athlete, but I am the first guy to actually make it to the UFC from Greece,” Michailidis specified. “I didn’t move somewhere else to make it to the UFC, like the United States. Over the years, I have traveled to the Allstars Training Center in Sweden for my camps but day-to-day I live and train in Greece at EFL MMA. Now that Greece is on the map of the MMA world, I think in the near future you will see that there are many competitive fighters in Greece.”
“There are a number of reasons that MMA is not currently thriving in Greece,” the proud Hellenic continued. “Most kids need to work for money and make the time commitment needed to train. MMA is also a relatively young sport in Greece and has only been around for the last ten years. The path that me and my team have made to the UFC wasn’t available before. We’ve had to travel a lot to find a way to get to the UFC and the time and cost of this is an insurmountable hurdle for most Greeks. Now that we’ve made it, I think that this will encourage and open the doors to many more Greek fighters to join the UFC.”
Before the two middleweights eventually clash inside the Octagon, Alex Pereira already has a kickboxing fight scheduled on September 4, at Glory 78. The Brazilian will defend his light heavyweight promotional gold.
UFC 268 is headlined by welterweight kingpin Kamaru Usman who’s defending his crown against top contender Colby Covington.