Don’t expect Michel Pereira to change anything about his flashy, aerial approach to fighting when he faces Diego Sanchez at UFC Rio Rancho in February.
Only two fights into his UFC career, welterweight Michel Pereira is already someone who’s fight will most certainly find its way on a highlight reel, even if just for his dancing entrance to the Octagon. But perhaps what Pereira has become mostly known for is his acrobats during the fight, which consists of literal backflips and somersaults right in the midst of battle. In fact, Pereira’s acrobats went viral shortly before he even signed with the UFC.
In his most recent fight against Tristan Connelly at UFC on ESPN+ 16 in September, Pereira would continue his unorthodox method of fighting, which conventional wisdom has contributing to Pereira’s loss due to him gassing out much sooner than he would have if he had remained stationary. Undaunted and unconcerned by these criticisms, Pereira plans on continuing doing the same flips when he takes on hardened veteran Diego Sanchez (Via MMA Fighting):
“I’ll do it,” Pereira said of his flips. “I’ve been criticized ever since I got in the UFC. It’s not something normal to see, not everyone does that, but this is my style. To me, it’s like throwing a jab. I’ll do it. Get ready for a show.”
One of the appeals for Pereira’s acrobatics is the mere fact that he believes there is no way for opponents to train or prepare for his style of fighting, even if you’ve been around as long as Diego Sanchez has.
“I dare them to try it,” Pereira said in reference to Sanchez’s training partners. “You can’t train for the things I do. The only thing I could possibly fear is getting taken down, but I have good wrestling and good jiu-jitsu. I’m a complete fighter, so I’ll be comfortable wherever we go.”
UFC Rio Rancho takes place February 15 from the Santa Ana Star Center in Rio Rancho, New Mexico and will be headlined by Corey Anderson vs. Jan Blachowicz.
Do you believe Michel Pereira should stop all the flashy flips and somersaults during his fights?