White was recently interviewed by Yahoo! Sports and was asked about the possibility of Pereira challenging former kickboxing foe and UFC Middleweight Champion Israel Adesanya. The UFC boss says it’s certainly possible if Pereira wins this weekend against Sean Strickland.
“Well, much like Adesanya. I mean, both these guys came from GLORY Kickboxing. Pereira is a former double champion there– middleweight and light heavyweight. He’s got two wins over Israel Adesanya. And, you know, he’s got two wins in the UFC right now.
“So taking on tough, durable, nutty Strickland, which should be a damn good fight. And if he wins, it makes a lot of sense to do the Adesanya fight.”
Pereira and Adesanya have quite the history with one another. Back in 2016, Pereira defeated Adesanya in kickboxing competition under the GLORY banner at an event in China. Pereira’s unanimous decision victory set the stage for their rematch the following year in Brazil.
That time, Pereira again topped Adesanya, but in an even more emphatic fashion, with a knockout blow. The loss marked the final fight of Adesanya’s professional kickboxing career thus far, as he then ventured into mixed martial arts, now a champion in just a few short years.
Pereira soon followed suit, and is now gearing up to challenge the No. 4-ranked middleweight in the world this weekend. If he does pull off the win over Strickland, the UFC could have a massive title fight on their hands, with a built-in story ready to go.
Of course, Adesanya will need to win himself, as he defends his title in the UFC 276 main event against Jared Cannonier.
What do you make of Dana White suggesting that Pereira could be next in line for a middleweight title shot with a UFC 276 win? Sound off in the comments below!