A big middleweight matchup is being targeted for the summer.
Multiple people with knowledge of the promotion’s plans confirmed to MMA Fighting that a bout between Sean Strickland and Alex Pereira is in the works for UFC 277 on July 30 at a venue and location to be announced. Verbal agreements are in place for the 185-pound showdown, which was first reported by ESPN.
Strickland has won six straight and is 5-0 since returning to the middleweight division after a successful run at welterweight. The No. 8 ranked fighter in MMA Fighting’s Global Rankings is coming off of two main event victories over Jack Hermansson and Uriah Hall. “Tarzan” seemed to be targeting a matchup with Paulo Costa, but stated on social media that the UFC didn’t seem all that interested in putting it together.
Pereira is seemingly getting the fast track treatment from the UFC, as he would enter for just his seventh pro MMA bout and third octagon appearance. “Poatan” holds a pair of kickboxing wins over current middleweight champion Israel Adesanya including a ferocious knockout in March 2017. Since signing with the UFC, Pereira has picked up a flying knee knockout win over Andreas Michailidis at UFC 268 and a unanimous decision win over Bruno Silva at UFC Vegas 50 earlier this month.
Guilherme Cruz contributed to this report.