After retaining his title at UFC 303, what’s next for Alex Pereira?

MMA: UFC 303 - Pereira vs Prochazka
Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

This past Saturday night in the main event of UFC 303, the light heavyweight title was on the line in a rematch. Light heavyweight champion Alex Pereira (11-2) was looking to defend his title against Jiri Prochazka (30-5-1). The two men fought for the vacant title in November with Pereira winning by second round TKO.

When this fight started, Prochazka fought with a lot of forward pressure but you could tell he was more cautious than usual. Prochazka fights wild and that’s part of his style. However, he realized the danger in fighting that way against Pereira and that really hindered his offense. Both men had moments in the first, but it was the champion who was landing the better shots.

Then, right near the bell of the first round, Pereira landed a flush left hook that sent Prochazka down. Had the bell not sounded, the fight would’ve been stopped. I wondered how Prochazka would recover and it turns out he didn’t get much of a chance to. Just seconds into the second round, Pereira blasted him with a head kick that finished the job. A masterful performance from the light heavyweight champion at UFC 303.

What’s next after UFC 303?

Alex Pereira has now fought four times at light heavyweight. Every fight has been against three of the previous four light heavyweight champions. The lone champion he hasn’t fought is his head coach, Glover Teixeira. Pereira is now 4-0 in those fights with three brutal knockouts and a decision win over Jan Blachowicz.

After the fight, Joe Rogan asked Pereira about moving to heavyweight and the champion said he would do whatever the UFC wanted him to do. However, after hearing Dana White’s post-fight press conference comments, I don’t think Pereira is moving up just yet.

In reality, Magomed Ankalaev is likely going to get the next shot at Pereira. He’s the only top contender who Pereira hasn’t fought and Ankalaev hasn’t lost in years. It will be a stiff test for Pereira, but it’s one I think the champion relishes. It should be a great fight and I’d look for that one to take place probably around December.

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