Former UFC middleweight champion Alex Pereira is not exactly the type to engage in any kind of trash talk or argument with fighters. In fact, you rarely even see changes in his facial expressions. However, the Brazilian fighter did not stop himself from expressing his blunt opinion about lightweight veteran Anthony Smith after the latter had criticized Pereira for his decision to move up a division to 205 lbs.
Pereira’s growth in the UFC has been rather exciting, as he earned a shot at the middleweight title against his long-standing rival Israel Adesanya after just three fights in the promotion. He shocked the world by putting an end to Izzy’s dominance with a knockout victory in the final round. Nevertheless, Pereira’s championship reign was short-lived, as ‘The Stylebender’ reclaimed his belt in their rematch at UFC 287 in April.
Alex Pereira just destroyed Anthony Smith. I have never seen Alex speaking like this before wow 💀 pic.twitter.com/QD5Sc7Xbxk
— AWUREDO (@AOUREDOO) August 28, 2023
Poatan decided to move up a division after his first loss in the UFC, and he challenged former UFC champion Jan Blachowicz at UFC 291 in Utah. Going into the fight, Pereira was the underdog, as his opponent was a veteran and one of the best fighters in the light-heavyweight division ever. However, he once again managed to surprise the MMA world by securing a victory by split decision against Blachowicz.
‘Lionheart‘ Anthony Smith was not too impressed by the former kickboxer’s decision to leave the middleweight division. Addressing this, Pereira said, “The only ones who speak badly about me are Anthony Smith types, washed-up vets who never amounted to anything. Who are still fighting. They’re in a really tight spot. Or the guy who is still a nobody.
Pereira is the last fighter you would expect to start a beef with someone by badmouthing them, but fans enjoyed this rare moment.
Anthony Smith feels Alex Pereira will not be successful in the light-heavyweight division.
Lightweight veteran Anthony Smith feels that Alex Pereira is an elite striker and was an absolute beast in the middleweight division of the UFC, but his decision to move up to the light-heavyweight category may not be very beneficial for him.
Smith justified his opinion by comparing Pereira with other fighters in his division, like Magomed Ankalaev and Aleksandar Rakic. ‘Lionheart’ further expressed that, according to him, Pereira has the talent but lacks the explosiveness and power required in this division of the sport.
While Pereira has responded to Smith for questioning his qualifications, a light-heavyweight title would definitely silence all his critics. The UFC light-heavyweight title is vacant right now as former champion Jamahal Hill has vacated it after an injury.
Anthony Smith’s last appearance inside the octagon was pretty recent, where he secured a close win against Ryan Spann by split decision at UFC Singapore.