Pereira, famous for his multiple kickboxing wins over reigning middleweight champ Israel Adesanya, has impressed since making his UFC debut. The 34-year-old earned a TKO victory over Andreas Michailidis in November last year, and earlier this month, defeated Bruno Silva via unanimous decision.
Strickland, meanwhile, is on a six-fight win streak, having most recently defeated Jack Hermansson via split decision in February. His next bout with Pereira, which has reportedly been verbally agreed to, could act as a title eliminator.
Following his last victory, Pereira called out #2 ranked Jared Cannonier so as to fast-track his rise through the middleweight rankings. By facing #4 ranked Strickland, the unranked Pereira will have the opportunity to enter the middleweight top five and possibly earn a title shot against Adesanya, particularly given his history with the champ.
Strickland, too, can possibly earn a matchup with Adesanya if he’s victorious against Pereira. His impressive run of form, coupled with the fact that he’s yet to face the champ, could see him earn an immediate title shot. There is, however, still Cannonier to consider in this equation, who’s also yet to face Adesanya.
What’s your prediction for Sean Strickland vs. Alex Pereira?