Hitting the octagon tonight at UFC Rio Rancho is the flashy, entertaining Michel Pereira. The Brazilian hit the radar after footage of him pulling off a moonsault in South Korea’s ROAD FC went viral, and he’s been a sensation since landing in the UFC, despite competing only twice and compiling a 1-1 record to date.
A day before his co-main event fight against Diego Sanchez, Pereira issued a lengthy statement regarding his weight cut at UFC Vancouver last September. And a note about Sanchez himself.
“I have a message for the UFC, the fans, and Diego Sanchez,” Pereira wrote on Instagram.
“First, I want to begin by addressing the fact that many fans criticized me because of the fact that I missed weight by 0.8lbs in my last fight in Canada. There were extreme circumstances around that incident that I want the public to know. First, the main person that was coming to assist me with cutting weight, was not able to secure his Visa, and I was left to do the entire weight cut alone, with my main coaches flying in after the official weigh in. This issue cost me over $55,000 as I had to forfeit my bonus and pay a % of my purse to my opponent for the missed weight.”
“2nd, I want the UFC to know that I am a professional, inside and outside of the Octagon,” Pereira continued. “When I missed weight, I was devastated and it has hurt my heart since this occurred. For this fight, I made sure that my preparation was outstanding and I had the correct people around me during the entire process. This time, not only did I make the weight, I made Championship weight, coming in 1lb below the allowance to prove to the UFC that I can and will remain a Welterweight, and plan on climbing the ranks in pursuit of my ultimate goals.”
“Finally, I have a message regarding Diego Sanchez. I could see the fear in his eyes, and I knew fear was in his head & heart all week because I know he said that if I didn’t make weight, he would not take the fight, regardless of any extra financial benefit. To me, this is the sign of someone who is scared, or is a coward. I don’t believe Diego to be a coward, however I know he is afraid of what is going to happen on Saturday night.”
That last statement, of course, may raise some eyebrows. Sanchez, the middleweight winner of the original Ultimate Fighter, has competed with some of the best in the world.
Pereira finished by saying “I want to thank all of the fans around the World that believe in the “Demolidor” and I promise that every time you see me step in the cage, you’ll witness a spectacle that you will not forget. Much Love, – Michel Pereira.”