Alex Pereira will challenge Israel Adesanya for the UFC belt on Saturday and plans to celebrate with family and friends if victorious at UFC 281. He will go back to fight mode immediately afterward, however, when he travels with sister Aline Pereira to Sloan, Iowa, for her MMA debut six days later at LFA 147.
“I’ve been following my brother’s footsteps since the beginning,” Aline Pereira told MMA Fighting. “I [sign with] every promotion he fights, I go after him everywhere he goes, so [the transition to MMA] happened naturally. I already knew that I would also follow him if he went to MMA.”
The 32-year-old striker last entered the GLORY ring in January 2021, losing a decision to Tiffany van Soest for the super bantamweight title. She began training MMA shortly after, moving to Danbury to join her brother at Glover Teixeira’s team.
“Right now I’m focused only on MMA because you can’t focus on doing both, fighting kickboxing and then MMA,” she explained. “You have to focus on only one of them to get to your goal.”
The most complicated part of the transition from kickboxing to a ruleset that combines several martial arts was dealing with grappling, Pereira said, but working with the likes of Teixeira and “Poatan” have her ready to face TUF 30 alumni Helen Peralta. Peralta holds a MMA record of 5-3 after losing a decision to Poliana Botelho in her most recent bout at Invicta FC 49.
“I watched one or two of her fights, but I don’t watch [tape] too much,” Pereira said. “I pay more attention to the way they fight, if they are too desperate. She hugs a lot, but I haven’t seen her take anyone to the ground. She’s more of a striker, but I think she’s coming in to grapple.”
Pereira will be in attendance to watch her brother challenge Adesanya in New York City, and predicts two victories for the family in November.
“My brother winning the belt, and then I’m fighting [at LFA],” Pereira said. “I’ll come out victorious and we’ll all celebrate together.
“I think it’s going to be another knockout,” she said of how “Poatan” gets it done against “The Last Stylebender” at UFC 281. “He’ll put him to sleep. And I’ll tell you this, it’s going to be in the second round, with that left hand again.”