Those numbers, captured on Tuesday by Pereira, go a long way toward explaining the former GLORY champ’s stature next to Dominick Reyes, a two-time light heavyweight title challenger in a picture that quickly went viral.
The American Council on Exercise recommends a body fat percentage between 6 and 13 percent for athletes, though MMA fighters are known for skirting the lower limit during tough weight cuts. If Pereira were to fight on Tuesday at 185 pounds, the maximum he is allowed to weight for a middleweight title fight, he would have gained back approximately 22 percent of his bodyweight, well above the threshold set by the California State Athletic Commission to recommend an athlete move up a weight division.
Of course, the accuracy of Pereira’s scale cannot be verified, and athlete’s metabolic rate, exercise and dietary habits play a huge part in their ability to make weight. The 35-year-old Brazilian has 73 days to shed his remaining weight, and he hasn’t come in heavy in three UFC appearances.
In one recent Instagram story video, Pereira showed a plate of what appeared to be two plain chicken breasts and broccoli.
Pereira’s work leading up to the Nov. 12 pay-per-view event has drawn interest from all corners of MMA, including from Adesanya’s longtime rival, Jon Jones. The ex-light heavyweight champ has given Pereira some unsolicited praise – and advice – during preparation for the middleweight title fight.
“Be careful not to show Izzy too much champ, I honestly don’t think it will matter though,” Jones commented on a Aug. 22 post showing Pereira sparring. “It’s yours.”
In another post, Jones wrote “loving that shot” in response to a takedown from Pereira.
Pereira aims to hand Adesanya another loss after knocking him out in the kickboxing ring in 2017, his second win over the UFC champ. He has won all three of his octagon bouts, most recently stopping Sean Strickland via knockout at UFC 276. At the same event, Adesanya defended his middleweight title a fifth time with a decision over Jared Cannonier. Immediately afterward, Adesanya called out Pereira.