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Alex Pereira: Grappling is key, but I also see Glover Teixeira knocking out Jamahal Hill

UFC 268: Usman v Covington 2
Glover Teixeira and Alex Pereira
Photo by Mike Roach/Zuffa LLC

RIO DE JANEIRO — Glover Teixeira’s grappling will always be his biggest threat against fighters like Jamahal Hill, but his teammate Alex Pereira sees more paths to victory.

Pereira, who took the UFC middleweight championship away from longtime rival Israel Adesanya, said in an interview with MMA Fighting that his friend can stop Hill on the feet, too.

“Anything can happen,” said Pereira, who corners Teixeira in the light heavyweight title fight at UFC 283 in Rio de Janeiro on Saturday. “Many people talk about the grappling, that Glover will submit [Hill]. There’s a better chance that happens, of course, but people forget that he has several knockouts. I also see him knocking this guy out. Anything can happen. It’s going to be a great fight.”

Teixeira was originally scheduled to rematch Jiri Prochazka for the 205-pound championship, but he ended up watching Jan Blachowicz and Magomed Ankalaev collide for the vacant throne instead. When that match ended in a draw, the UFC paired up Teixeira and Hill for the title in Brazil.

Pereira said the rollercoaster of emotions was wild, but the 43-year-old veteran has enough experience to deal with it and prepare for a big fight. “Poatan” revealed that Teixeira never stopped training after Blachowicz vs. Ankalaev was booked because “he knew something good was coming for him.”

“He’s happy and motivated, and I think that’s the most important,” Pereira said. “It’s a good fight for him. It’s always a dangerous fight, a young guy, but I think it’s a better fight for him. Glover is more experienced, but I think this is a great fight for me. And seeing him that excited, that makes more happier and more confident.”

Watch Glover Teixeira’s pre-fight media scrum below.

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