After winning the light heavyweight title at UFC 295, what’s next for Alex Pereira?

MMA: UFC 295 - Prochazka vs Pereira
Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports

This past Saturday in the main event of UFC 295, the vacant light heavyweight championship was on the line. Former light heavyweight champion Jiri Prochazka (29-4-1) was looking to regain the title he never lost inside the octagon while Alex Pereira (9-2) was looking to win a championship in a second weight class.

Last year, Jiri Prochazka severely injured his shoulder and vacated the title so the division wouldn’t get held up. Jamahal Hill went on to win the light heavyweight title. After Hill tore his achilles, he did the same thing as Prochazka which led to the fight between Prochazka and former middleweight champion Alex Pereira.

The fight started out with both men trying to get their strikes off early. Pereira was effective right away with big leg kicks which damaged the legs of Prochazka early. However, Prochazka landed big shots of his own and got a big takedown which secured the first round for him.

The second round saw more back-and-forth with both men having their moments. There was a violent exchange against the fence where Prochazka was teeing off and Pereira was staying composed trying to land counters. Just about four minutes into the second, Prochazka landed a big right hand and started chasing Pereira.

He looked like he had the former UFC middleweight champion hurt. However, Pereira was composed and landed a flush short left hook which dropped Prochazka. Prochazka went for a takedown and Pereira blasted him with elbows and Prochazka fell to his back prompting the referee to think he was out and he stopped the fight giving Alex Pereira his second world title.

What’s next after UFC 295?

Alex Pereira called for a third fight with Israel Adesanya in his post-fight interview, but I don’t see that fight happening. Jamahal Hill is the easy answer here considering the former champion has been promised a title fight upon his return to the octagon from his achilles injury. The only thing that could get in the way is his timeline.

Pereira mentioned it in his post-fight interview that he wants to be an active champion and he wasn’t sure if his timeline lined up with Hill’s timeline. The UFC is already booked through March and the rumors are saying Conor McGregor will headline the April PPV. Perhaps Pereira will defend his title in May or June considering that timeline.

If Hill is ready, that’s the fight. However, if Hill isn’t ready, there are a couple of options. Jan Blachowicz and Aleksandar Rakic are fighting in January. Perhaps the winner of that fight could get the shot. Magomed Ankalaev and Johnny Walker had that bizarre No Contest last month. The winner of that fight likely would’ve been given the next shot, but I’m assuming the UFC will run that one back.

Nikita Krylov is a guy who could get a look or even Anthony Smith. If Hill can’t fight, I think the UFC waits to see who wins between Blachowicz and Rakic and the winner of that fight barring injuries will get the shot. Unless Ankalaev and Walker get a fight around the same time then I think the winner of that fight would more than likely get the next shot.

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