According to Glover Teixeira, former UFC middleweight champion Alex Pereira’s move up to light heavyweight couldn’t have come at a better time.
“I was like, ‘I love it that you’re going to light heavyweight,’ because I don’t want to see him cutting that much weight,” Teixeira told reporters after defeating Anthony Smith in a grappling match at Friday’s Fight Pass Invitational 4 in Las Vegas. “You don’t know how much that guy cut [to get to 185]. He’s 230 pounds right now, and he’s lean, he’s probably like eight percent body fat. For him to drop to 185 is crazy.”
Pereira’s first 205-pound matchup takes place at UFC 291 on July 29 in Salt Lake City when he faces former champion Jan Blachowicz, who coincidentally was the man Teixeira defeated for the title when he was an active fighter in October 2021 at UFC 267.
“Poatan” captured middleweight gold when he stopped longtime rival Israel Adesanya in the fifth round at UFC 281 in November, but went on to suffer a knockout loss to Adesanya in the rematch at UFC 287 in April.
Teixeira’s final fight took place in January when he lost a unanimous decision to Jamahal Hill in the main event of UFC 283 for the vacant lightweight title. Teixeira is a mentor and coach of Pereira’s, and when asked if he would like to see one of his star pupils get one back for the team in an eventual matchup with Hill, the 43-year-old said he’ll look forward to that opportunity if it comes, but they are currently focused on the tough task in front of them.
“For sure, the style with Jamahal Hill and Alex, it’s perfect for Alex,” Teixeira explained. “Listen, Jamahal Hill is a great fighter, and Jan is a great fighter. We’re not looking past Jan over here like that. Styles make fights. My style was more grappling, and Jan is a tremendous striker. He beat Israel Adesanya and he was doing really good in the standup before he started going [for takedowns]. Jan is dangerous, he hits hard.
“But if everything goes to plan and Alex can get past Jan, for sure I think Jamahal Hill will be an amazing fight for Alex, and it would be nice to see revenge — nothing against Jamahal Hill, he’s a great guy as well, but yeah.”