Brazilian show-stopper Michel Pereira returns this weekend at UFC Vegas 9, in something of a precarious position.
The athlete known as “Demolidor” is best known for his flashy, creative, exhausting style. A style that has as many critics as fans, as Periera has been known to tire as fights progress. But despite his contract being up after his fight with Zelim Imadaev this weekend, Pereira isn’t about to change a thing.
Even though he knows how important a win this Saturday really is.
“My plan is to always put on a show, but I need to win this fight,” Pereira told Cageside Press during this week’s UFC Vegas 9 media day. “I know that. But I always try to put on a show for the fans. I do believe that Dana [White], Sean Shelby, they will renew my contract.”
Negotiations on a new deal have not yet begun, Pereira revealed. They don’t appear to be on his mind, however. “You’ll see the same Michel,” he promised, when asked if entering the fight off back-to-back losses might alter his approach. “The two losses, one of them I had a really hard time cutting weight. The other was an illegal knee. So I don’t see them as losses.”
Neither does the promotion, apparently. At least not his fight with Diego Sanchez, which saw him DQ’d as a result of the aforementioned illegal knee. “I see it as a win. It was a mistake that got me disqualified, but I see it as a win,” Pereira said, reflecting on his last outing. “I was treated by the UFC as a winner, so nothing changed. I’m here, and I’m ready to put on a show.”
In preparation for putting on that show, Pereira says he’d been trying something different. Changing up his training is something the Brazilian likes to do from fight to fight, and this time out, he’s been training on a farm. With animals. Including cows.
“I trained with cows, working on taking them down, and running with horses,” said Pereira. We sincerely hope he releases video of that. Cow tipping might be a questionable pastime for bored rural teenagers, but taking down bovines is something else entirely. “I had different experiences with different animals. Just trying to work on different strategies, and bring something new to the octagon.”
Fans will no doubt be looking forward to seeing something new from Michel Pereira this Saturday at UFC Vegas 9. Because if nothing else, the welterweight is a fighter that will always have you wondering what’s next.
And although Pereira’s contract status is still up in the air, he does seem to have a course charted out. The plan, he said, is to move to Las Vegas, so he can be closer to the UFC’s center of operations and step up on short notice if the promotion is looking for a replacement fighter.
The first ,step, however, is getting past Zelim Imadeav. A fighter Pereira feels is “very versatile” — which has the Brazilian predicting the pair will put on a great show.
Watch the full UFC Vegas 9 media day press scrum with Michel Pereira above. The event takes place this Saturday, September 5 at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas, NV, airing live on ESPN+ (TSN in Canada).