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Dana White reveals why he does not want Alex Pereira to move to Heavyweight

LockerRoom Team
Calendar Icon01 July 2024

Alex Pereira has quickly made his mark in the UFC, achieving remarkable success in a short span. In just seven fights, he has already conquered two divisions, securing titles in both light heavyweight and middleweight categories. His recent victory over Jiri Prochazka at UFC 303 has sparked widespread speculation about a potential move to the heavyweight division, where he could become the first-ever three-division champion in UFC history.

UFC CEO Dana White revealed the immediate interest in Pereira’s future following his latest win. "I barely had time to wrap the belt around his waist before Joe Rogan was in my ear asking about him going to heavyweight," White said at the UFC 303 post-fight press conference. "It sounds like not just Joe Rogan but everybody else wants to see him go to heavyweight."

White noted Pereira’s readiness to take on new challenges. "He said, ‘I’ll fight at heavyweight. I’ll fight wherever you want, whenever you want.’ He’s a savage. The guy’s an absolute stud."

However, the heavyweight division is currently packed with ongoing matchups. Interim champion Tom Aspinall is set to face Curtis Blaydes at UFC 304 in July, while undisputed heavyweight champion Jon Jones is expected to fight Stipe Miocic later this year, likely in November at Madison Square Garden.

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Pereira might target the winners of these bouts, but White remains cautious about rushing the move to heavyweight. "It’s not that I’m not into it — the guy was a middleweight, then moves up to light heavyweight," White explained. "But it’s not like this guy’s been in the division for two years and he ran through everybody."

White emphasized the significant challenge of moving to heavyweight, comparing Pereira’s situation to Jon Jones’ move to the division. "Even as big and good as Jon Jones is, when he was moving up to heavyweight, we thought, ‘This is going to be interesting.’”

Currently, Pereira holds a 3-0 record at light heavyweight with two title defenses. White prefers to see Pereira solidify his legacy in this division before considering a move to heavyweight. "If he cleaned out a division and there’s literally nobody left for this guy to fight, and he’s 37, if he wants to move up to heavyweight [we’ll let him], but that’s not the case," White said.

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