It’s not easy to live up to the hype, many fail at it but then there’s Alex Pereira who lived up to the hype at UFC 268.
The former two-division Glory kickboxing champion had a fantastic debut at Saturday’s UFC 268.
Pereira continued his transition into MMA by knocking out Andreas Michailidis with a flying knee in the second round of their middleweight contest.
A packed out Madison Square Garden played host to a superb evening of fighting with the middleweight bout closing out the preliminary card.
The fight started in good fashion, Michailidis started the first round on the front foot, wasting no time and going for a takedown inside the first minute.
Pereira was defending well, but Michailidis was on his back and pressing down all of his weight on the Brazilian to wear on him. Pereira managed to get back to his feet and got a reset in the centre of the cage from the referee which delighted the crowd.
Michailidis continued attaching himself to Pereira and put him right back up against the cage, the bell sounded and the Greek fighter was 1-0 up.
The lead did not last long though as the effort put in to try and control Pereira had taken a toll on Michailidis and he was visibly exhausted after the end of the first round.
At the beginning of the second round, Pereira took a massive advantage. He casually stepped forward to Michailidis and delivered a devastating flying kick that caught Michailidis flush on the chin.
At first, Periera thought he had a walk-off knockout, but the referee hadn’t stopped the fight yet, so he had to deliver a few more blows before the referee had seen enough to end it.
The win takes Pereira’s record to 4-1 in his MMA career and after the match, he said: “I’m so happy, I kept my cool, I saw my opening and I capitalized on the moment.”
Pereira is the only man to have knocked out UFC middleweight champion Isreal Adesanya.
Pereira’s history with Adesanya makes it certain that he will receive a push from UFC and with a showing like that, it appears he is ready for the deep end of the middleweight division.