How do you spell “fan-friendly?” On paper, it might just be “Niko Price vs. Michel Pereira.”
That welterweight scrap at UFC 264 was one that many had circled on their calendar. On a card built around Conor McGregor and Dustin Poirier, it had all the makings of a show-stopper.
Price put the pressure on Pereira from the opening bell. Pereira hit Price with a nasty jab. An eye poke stopped the action, and Price landed a nice punch off the restart. Price shot for a takedown and put Pereira against the fence. Just 90 seconds had passed in the fight when they got off the fence. Pereira landed a front kick, and Price landed a punch in return. The fighters clinched, and Price ate a knee. Pereira hit Price with a jab that snapped Price’s head back. Pereira landed a punch and pushed Price to the ground. Pereira attempted a superman punch off the cage but missed. Price ate two nasty knees to his stomach— then came a calf kick from Price, and a straight right from Pereira. Pereira attempted rolling thunder to end the round.
Both men took the center to start round two. Price landed two calf kicks. Pereira landed a backflip kick that partially landed on Price and then went into full mount. Insanity. Pereira locked up an arm-triangle, but Price defended. Pereira started to land heavy ground and pound, and Price gave up his back. Pereira transitioned back to full mount, and Price got back to his feet with two minutes left. Price grabbed a leg lock, but Pereira defended. Both men got to their feet. Pereira looked exhausted, and Price recognized it. Price charged Pereira with punches and clinched with him against the fence. Both men swing to end round two.
The fight lived up to the hype through two rounds. They didn’t let up in the third.
Pereira and Price started round two by swinging crazily. Price again clinched. Just over a minute into the round, and Pereira kicked Price below the belt, which halted the fight. When they got going again, Price landed a hook that stung Pereira. Pereira went for a jumping knee, but Price saw it. Price threw a head kick and barely missed; Pereira kicked Price in the body, making Price drop his mouthpiece. Price landed a front kick. Both fighters landed a double jab. Under 90 seconds remaining, and Price was non-stop pressuring Pereira. Price landed two jabs that hurt Pereira, followed by a hook. Pereira shot for a takedown, and Price defended. Both fighters swung away to end the fight.
— UFC (@ufc) July 11, 2021
A fantastic fight that deserves Fight of the Night. Pereira got the nod on the scorecards, and once again called for a fight with Nate Diaz.
Official Result: Michel Pereira def. Niko Price by unanimous decision (29–28, 29–28, 29–28)