New York, NY — Kickboxing champ Alex Pereira made his debut inside the octagon at UFC 268, and it was a big one.
After some early adversity in the opening round, Pereira, billed all week long as the man who knocked out Israel Adesanya back in their kickboxing days, knocked out Andreas Michailidis. With a flying knee.
It looked, initially, that Pereira might be in for a rough night. Michailidis made so secret of his plan to test Pereira’s ground game, and his did just that in round one. “He gave me a hard first round, but I came prepared. I train hard,” Pereira told members of the media following the fight. “Second round, I saw the opening, I saw it happen.”
So did everyone watching, with awe. And despite having big fight experience in kickboxing, Pereira admitted to having some nervous jitters ahead of his UFC debut. “Absolutely. It’s not even the fear of the fight. Everybody gets concerned about losing. Everybody gets scared of losing, but I have my control.”
The knee, meanwhile, was “just fraction of seconds. It just happened.”
The question now will turn to what comes next for the Brazilian, who is just 4-1 in MMA, but already in his mid-30s. “I came here of course to be a champ, but I was taking my time, evolving, getting better every day,” he stated when asked about the future, and whether he wants a quick rise to the top. “I’m 34 years old, but I’m happy to be here every day, getting better and better.”
Watch the full UFC 268 post-fight press scrum with Alex Pereira above. More coverage can be found below.