As of September 3rd, it was announced that the current GLORY Middleweight champion Alex "Po Atan" Pereira will be making his UFC debut after his GLORY Light Heavyweight title fight, which ended in a close majority decision loss against Artem Vakhitov, which was a rematch with the first fight going Pereira's way via split decision. The loss does not hurt his stock, knowing how close the fight was, hence why his debut will be front and center inside Madison Square Garden on November 6th on the undercard of the stacked UFC 268 - Usman V.S Covington 2 against Greek-born fighter Andreas "The Spartan" Michailidis. Michailidis has 17 MMA bouts under his belt, including 2 under the UFC, so he has the experience advantage in the realm of MMA and a big leap from the Thomas Powell (5-5 MMA), who was Pereira's last opponent inside the octagon for the promotion LFA. Pereira, who only holds a 3-1 MMA record, is far less experienced in the octagon compared to the ring with a kickboxing record of 33-7 with 21 knockouts but do not take away the raw power and skill Pereira holds in his hands and kicks. With all the kickboxing world titles and grand prix wins, Pereira's crowning achievement to MMA fans is he is the only man to ever knock out the current UFC Middleweight Champion Israel "The Last Stylebender" Adesanya and has beaten twice in professional kickboxing. After losing to Yousri Belgaroui in April of 2017, Pereira went on a nine-fight win streak with 6 KO/TKOs, winning both the Glory Middleweight and Light Heavyweight title and beat names such as Jason Wilnis, Simon Marcus twice and avenging the Belgaroui loss twice, finishing him twice. With Pereira being a late bloomer when it comes to MMA, he has the potential to become a major factor in the next couple of years in the UFC middleweight division since he will start training MMA full time and has the kickboxing skills many will never come close to reaching in the UFC. His victories and fights he has on his resume are one of kickboxing's best, and if you have never heard of the name Alex "Po Atan" Pereira, you better look into him now before he makes a big debut on the big stage.
The way that Pereira fights to mostly unique to himself inside the kickboxing ring. Coming into the sport of kickboxing after attempting a boxing career, his hands are fast and incredibly strong at middleweight, and by far, his most effective punch is his left hook easily with. Using it as a counter for when opponents coming rushing inside, he has very effective but slight head movement that gives him enough space and gives enough time to throw counters and especially his left hook (he KO'd Israel Adesanya with that exact same counter left hook back in March of 2017. He came into Glory with the stigma that he is "a boxer who does kickboxing" and that he can only fight with his hands and cannot kick well. He proved the media and doubters wrong with finishing former Glory middleweight champion Jason Wilnis with a vicious flying switch knee. Pereira's fight style is closer to an MMA style than full-blown kickboxing like Dutch or Muay Thai, with head movement to avoid strikes and strikes attacking upstairs and downstairs. With his kicks and knees matching the talent he has in his hands, Pereira is currently one of the most dangerous strikers on the planet and has proven that time and time again. In the MMA fights that Pereira has had, he has shown solid takedown defense and the ability to keep his back off the fence, so he can maximize the excellent striking Pereira has under his belt and scary power. He has been training with the next title challenger for the UFC Light heavyweight championship Glover Teixeira to prepare for his UFC debut. With the matchup against Michailidis, the chances that Andreas shoots for a takedown is highly due to the presence that Pereira shows on the feet, but as many kickboxers that transition to MMA, the issue is always the grappling aspect, and at 34 years of age, many can hope that the old dog can learn new tricks and seen in his most recent MMA fight, it is a good tell that Poatan has a chance to be a true case of lightning in a bottle.