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Dana White admits he didn’t expect Alex Pereira to succeed in UFC

LAS VEGAS – UFC light heavyweight champion Alex Pereira has surpassed Dana White’s expectations.

Pereira (11-2 MMA, 8-1 UFC) notched his second title defense by knocking out Jiri Prochazka (30-5-1 MMA, 4-2 UFC) a second time in this past Saturday’s UFC 303 main event at T-Mobile Arena.

Pereira, a former two-division Glory Kickboxing champion, has replicated his success across two weight classes in the UFC with very little MMA experience, winning titles at both 185 and 205 pounds. White admits he was initially skeptical about Pereira’s potential in the UFC, but “Poatan” has been able to prove him wrong.

“It’s incredible, right? No, I don’t think like that, especially when you have a guy that’s coming in from kickboxing,” White told reporters at the UFC 303 post-fight press conference. “You know? Has this long kickboxing career and is older coming into the UFC. I think the exact opposite. This guy’s not going to do very well here. He’s going to get taken down, smashed, submitted, you know, all that kind of stuff. But, man, was I wrong.”

White heaped praise on Pereira’s performance against Prochazka. Pereira knocked down Prochazka with his signature left hook in the last second of Round 1, but Prochazka was able to stumble back to his stool. However, just 18 seconds into Round 2, Pereira floored Prochazka with a head kick.

“He looked incredible,” White said of Pereira. “Fight started just like the last fight, chopping that calf kick, busting his leg up and then, ‘Oh, he got saved by the bell.’ No, he didn’t. It was incredible. That guy is a monster, absolute monster.”

For more on the card, visit MMA Junkie’s event hub for UFC 303.

Be sure to visit the MMA Junkie Instagram page and YouTube channel to discuss this and more content with fans of mixed martial arts.


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