The fast track is officially on for Alex Pereira (5-1). ESPN’s Brett Okamoto was the first to report this afternoon that the UFC has verbal agreements in place for a July middleweight matchup between Pereira and top five contender Sean Strickland (25-3).
The matchup will take place at UFC 277 on July 30th. For Strickland, he’s going to be looking for another win which could push his case for a title shot over the top. Since returning in 2020, Strickland has been perfect in the middleweight division with a record of 5-0.
He’s been incredibly impressive and has racked up wins over the likes of Jack Hermansson, Uriah Hall, and Brendan Allen. Strickland has risen in popularity due to his unique personality and the way that he goes about promotion himself.
Given his personality and his overall record, it’s easy to see why he’s only a win away from a UFC title shot. However, especially on the feet, he’s going to have his hands full in his next matchup.
UFC Fast Track
It is rather obvious to see what the UFC is trying to do with this matchup. For Strickland, it would be the win that gets him a title shot. However, it’s also a fight for Alex Pereira that allows him to jump the line if he wins and go right into the title picture.
When the promotion signed Pereira, everyone talked about his kickboxing bouts with middleweight champion Israel Adesanya. Pereira has defeated the UFC champion twice including knocking him out cold in their second fight.
He debuted in the UFC last November and he scored a flying knee KO. He just defeated a very tough and game Bruno Silva earlier this month. Pereira has yet to fight a ranked opponent, however, that’s not stopping the UFC from shooting him straight up the ladder.
If he’s able to defeat Strickland, he’s going to get a title shot against Adesanya. Huge implications in this July middleweight contest.