Jiri Prochazka Reacts to Fellow Ex-UFC Champ Alex Pereira’s 205-Pound Move

Jiri Prochazka and Alex Pereira

Getty Jiri Prochazka and Alex Pereira

Former UFC light heavyweight champion Jiri Prochazka is excited to see ex-middleweight king Alex Pereira join his division.

Prochazka recently spoke with Low Kick MMA while on the road to fully recovering his shoulder – an injury that forced him to vacate the 205-pound belt late last year. During the interview, “Denisa” was asked about the Brazilian’s move north of 185 pounds.

“Thoughts on him: nice stand-up style guy,” Prochazka said. “Lot’s of skills and I’m looking forward to seeing him in our division because he’s high, like he’s very good for our division. And he has good feeling in the movement, good timing. I’m glad to see guys like him in our division because it’s a new opportunity to show the best from us, because he’s a good [striker].”

Prochazka then said that Pereira would likely fight a top-five-ranked light heavyweight in his weight class debut.

“Alex is a good warrior,” Denisa said when asked how he stacks up with Pereira. “He has a very nice style — I like this style, because it’s very, very simple, useful and precise.”

But, Prochazka reiterated that his eyes were set on reclaiming the championship, not on “Poatan.” And to do so, he wants to battle current belt holder Jamahal Hill in his Octagon return. “I have to win this fight, that’s all,” Prochazka said.

Prochazka said his shoulder was feeling “great” and he hoped to fight again around September.

Pereira Announced the Divisional Change After Dropping His Middleweight Strap to Israel Adesanya

Pereira was the middleweight ruler up until last month when he was knocked out by longtime rival Israel Adesanya at UFC 288. Poatan took to his YouTube channel a few days later to announce he was leaving 185 pounds.

But, he made it clear that he had unfinished business with “The Last Stylebender,” somebody he had fought and beat three times — twice in kickboxing and once in mixed martial arts — prior to their Octagon rematch on April 8.

“Many people questioned [my weight cut] but I always went there and fulfilled my obligation, but now is a great moment to move up a division,” Pereira said in Portuguese (translated by MMA Fighting). “You see Adesanya’s post-fight provocations, he treats this win like it’s 3-1 for him and it’s not quite like that. I understand his joy — or try to understand it — it was his dream to win once against me and he’s done it, but let’s see what his behavior is now.”

Pereira Said He Could Fight Adesanya in a Trilogy Match Next If He Wanted To

Pereira said in the video that it was his choice to move up to light heavyweight. But, if he wanted to, he could try and win back his 185-pound belt next.

“I’m moving up a division now, and that’s my decision, but I’m sure that if I stayed in this division I could fight him immediately. Let’s see how he behaves,” Pereira said. “I’m not going up because I can’t make the weight anymore. I can make the weight at any moment.

“He’s behaving like that because [UFC president] Dana White talked about my weight right after the fight and it looks like he thinks, ‘This guy will never make 185 again so I’ll provoke him and there’s nothing he can do’. I’m sure I could fight him immediately if I insisted on this, the organization and my managers would make this fight.”

White theorized at the UFC 287 post-fight press conference that Pereira would change weight classes. “He’s a monster,” White said. “I know he still had two pounds to cut [with] an hour left of the weigh-ins. I’m not saying he’s moving to 205, but I’d assume he is… it wouldn’t surprise me.”

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