“It’s just my style; it’s what I feel in my heart and in my head, and it’s the way that I like to fight,” Pereira, who takes on Diego Sanchez in the co-main event of this weekend’s UFC Fight Night event at the Santa Ana Star Center in Rio Rancho, New Mexico, said when asked about his unorthodox style that feels like a blend of kickboxing, gymnastics, and breakdance fighting that would make Zoolander and Hansel proud. “I like to perform in a way that is unique and I don’t think about it — it’s just the way that I compete.”
His performance against Roberts made anticipation for his sophomore appearance even higher, but things would not go as swimmingly for the chiseled six-foot-one upstart.
Set to compete in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, Pereira’s initial opponent was forced to withdraw from the contest a week before the fight, opening the door for local veteran Tristan Connelly to seize the opportunity to make his UFC debut in his own backyard. On top of that, Pereira’s cornerman for the fight was unable to join him in the beautiful Canadian outpost due to visa issues, leaving the welterweight to execute his considerable weight cut alone.
Pereira came in one pound over the allowable limit and drew criticism from fans and observers for performing a backflip off the scale at the ceremonial weigh-ins on Friday evening. In the Octagon the following evening, he deployed the same flamboyant approach as always, but failed to have the same success he did against Roberts.
As the bout wore on, Pereira began to fade noticeably and Connelly emerged victorious.
“I’m extremely confident that I’m going to make weight this time,” began Pereira, who carries a 23-10. 2 NC record into his clash with Sanchez this weekend, his second straight “road game” inside the Octagon. “Last time, I had a coach who couldn’t get a visa approved, so I ended up doing the entire weight cut by myself, which is an absolute disaster. This time, I’m confident I will be able to make weight and perform to the best of my abilities.”