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Dana White expects ‘monster’ Alex Pereira to move to light heavyweight after UFC 287

Alex Pereira has always been an impossibly huge middleweight, but his days at 185 pounds may be coming to an end.

UFC President Dana White believes Pereira may make good on previous hints to move up a division to light heavyweight, where his weight cut would be far less drastic, following a knockout loss to Israel Adesanya at UFC 287.

“I think that Pereira probably moves to 205 after this fight,” White said. “He’s a monster.”

Pereira got caught by a pair of well-placed punches while rushing in against Adesanya, his four-time opponent, in the main event of Saturday’s pay-per-view. That approach previously paid dividends when he stopped “The Last Stylebender” in the fifth at UFC 281. But this time, Adesanya was ready and brilliantly countered. Pereira lay unconscious on the canvas after taking the punches early in the second round. It was Adesanya’s first win over Pereira after a pair of losses in the kickboxing ring and the UFC 281 upset.

The finality of the result obscured another fight for Pereira on the scale, White said. The Brazilian’s weight cut again resurfaced as an issue on the morning of the official weigh-ins for UFC 287.

“I know that he had, he still had like two pounds to cut leading up to [the weigh-ins],” White said. “There was like an hour left at the end. I mean, I’m not saying he’s moving to 205, but I would assume he is. You guys can ask him himself, but it wouldn’t surprise me.”

Pereira did not appear at the post-fight press conference for UFC 287, so it was impossible to confirm his plans.

Pereira’s coach, Glover Teixeira, is a former light heavyweight champion who’s worked with the now-former middleweight champ since his move to the U.S. Teixeira hinted that Pereira’s future would likely be at 205 pounds.

Adesanya demurred on his next opponent when asked about his plans following UFC 287. The 33-year-old champ made his own attempt at gold in the light heavyweight division, coming up short against now-former champ Jan Blachowicz. Following his win, Blachowicz invited him to take another shot at revenge.

Adesanya, meanwhile, had his own advice for his four-time foe.

“Go cause problems at 205,” he said. “Then f***, good luck to everybody else, because he’s a motherf***** to deal with. I’ll tell you that.”

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