The Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) has featured some extraordinary Brazilian talents on the roster. However, not many could match the lofty standards that Anderson Silva set. During his prime, Silva was nearly untouchable in the middleweight division. After his retirement, many wondered who would fill the void that “The Spider” left. It looks like Alex Pereira has emerged as the most unlikely replacement.
After a Hall of Fame kickboxing career, Pereira suffered from crippling alcoholism. However, seeing Israel Adesanya’s taunts toward him, Poatan made his triumphant come back to fighting and signed for the UFC. Since then, he has beaten elite fighters such as Israel Adesanya, Sean Strickland, Jan Blachowicz, and Jiri Prochazka. Not only that, Pereira has joined the list of fighters who have held two titles in separate UFC divisions.
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After losing his middleweight title to Adesanya at UFC 287, Pereira moved up to light heavyweight and beat Prochazka at UFC 295 to grab the 205lbs title as well. So how does Anderson Silva feel about Pereira’s astronomical rise to the top of the division and potentially surpassing his UFC legacy? Let’s hear it from the legend himself.
UFC legend Andreson Silva calls Alex Pereira a “freak”
Anderson Silva once had 10 UFC middleweight title defenses in a row before losing it to Chris Weidman at UFC 162. Hence, he knows a thing or two about how difficult it is to be the top guy in a division. Even he is amazed by what Alex Pereira has accomplished in his 11-fight career. In just 7 UFC fights, Pereira has fought in 3 championship bouts and has lost only once.
Speaking of Pereira’s legacy in comparison to his own, Silva added, “Poatan is making history. He was champion of the lower division which is incredibly difficult with a guy who’s a freak that’s Adesanya. Now he won the upper division which is a very challenging division as well. So he’s making his own right? I had the opportunity to train with him. He’s a freak man, he’s an absolute freak. He’s extraordinary, man. You hit him and you get hurt.”
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After winning the light-heavyweight strap, there is yet to be an official announcement about his next opponent. However, if it was up to the champion to decide, he would fight Israel Adesanya next. During the post-fight interview with Joe Rogan, the former Glory kickboxer called out “The Last Stylebender” and added, “Adesanya. come to daddy.”
But it is most likely that he will fight a ranked contender in the light heavyweight division. Former champion Jamahal Hill may get the next crack at Poatan depending on his recovery. As for Anderson Silva, he is enjoying his time outside the cage. After his exit from UFC in 2020, Silva explored the world of boxing. After successful ventures against Julio Cesar Chavez and Tito Ortiz, Silva fought Jake Paul.
Although he put on a valiant effort, against “The Problem Child,” Anderson ended up losing the contest on judges’ cards. While he has done anything of note since fighting Jake, Silva currently has a TV mini-series on his life, titled “Anderson Spider Silva” which was released on November 16, 2023.