Color commentator Joe Rogan recently said that UFC champion Alex Pereira’s ability to fight at 185 pounds is “sanctioned cheating.”
“Poatan” became the promotion’s newest champion after ending Israel Adesanya’s multi-year middleweight reign at UFC 281. He finished Adesanya via fifth-round TKO on November 12 at Madison Square Garden in New York City.
Pereira, who officially weighed in at 184.6 pounds the day before, was noticeably bigger than Adesanya inside the Octagon. It’s documented that Pereira walks around much heavier than the middleweight limit — in August, Pereira shared a photo of himself hitting the scale at 232.3 pounds.
It’s common in mixed martial arts for fighters to cut a large amount of weight to compete in a lighter division. In doing so, the combatant hopes to have a size and strength advantage over their opponent.
However, the worry of depleting themselves too much to perform, as well as long-term health consequences, is a concern.
Rogan Said It’s a ‘Bulls*** Thing’ That Fighters Drop So Much Weight, Said ‘Everybody Does It’
During episode No. 1900 of “The Joe Rogan Experience” podcast, the comedian sat down with “Jackass” star Steve-O. And during their nearly three-hour-long conversation, Rogan and Steve-O discussed the 6’4″ Brazilian champion, and specifically, his size.
“Pereira came in, they were saying he was like 220 pounds,” Steve-O said.
“Could have been,” Rogan replied. “I mean, he certainly gets above that in between fights. And he has a hard time making 185.”
Rogan then pointed to how fighters are able to utilize the day-before weigh-in system to compete in smaller divisions, and how it’s a “bulls*** thing.”
“It’s basically sanctioned cheating,” Rogan said. “It really is. But everybody does it.”
Rogan also said that Adesanya doesn’t cut nearly as much as Pereira. “But Izzy barely does it,” Rogan said. “When Izzy went up to fight Jan Blachowicz at light heavyweight he weighed 194, which is crazy because Blachowicz is a giant light heavyweight. I mean, Blachowicz is a big, powerful guy at light heavyweight and Izzy didn’t gain any weight.”
“[Pereira] looks like a light heavyweight,” Rogan continued. “He really does.”
Rogan Praised How Well Adesanya Has Dealt With Losing His Championship to Pereira
The Last Stylebender didn’t turn away from the public eye after dropping his championship to Pereira. Adesanya attended the UFC 281 post-fight press conference that night, and in the days after, he was featured on “The MMA Hour” and “Flagrant” podcasts.
And Rogan had nothing but praise for the former champion’s ability to handle the loss.
“The way he responded to that loss is better than anybody ever,” Rogan said. “The dude shows up at the press conference with a f****** fur coat like a king — with his dope a** watch on and just says, ‘He got me.’
“He basically said, ‘The hunter is now the hunted,’ ‘I’m coming after him,’ ‘I’m gonna find a way to beat that dude,’ ‘I was on my way to beating him and he got me.’
“And he was honest about all of it. About how Pereira landed a bunch of calf kicks early on and it f***** up his leg and [he] couldn’t move right.”
Adesanya is now 0-3 against Pereira in combat sports, which includes two kickboxing defeats. The Last Stylebender expressed interest in an instant rematch, and considering Adesanya ruled the division from 2019 until last Saturday, he could get it.