After more than a year on the sidelines, Michel
will return to the Octagon against Stephen
UFC 291
on July 29.

The Brazilian is not accustomed to such a lenghty layoff.

“Since I entered in UFC I´m used to fighting three times a year,”
he told “Man, I’m living in Las Vegas with a high
[cost of living]. I cannot go 15 months without fighting. But
finally the UFC found a ranked oponent with the balls to face

Pereira, who did part of his camp at Xtreme Couture, is especially
excited at the stylistic matchup with “Wonderboy.”

“I love to entertain the fans and when I face grapplers, they want
to avoid my stand up game,” Pereira said. “I cannot show my new
skills, [but] that will not happen with Stephen ‘Wonderboy.’ He is
a karate black belt just like myself.”

Pereira is confident that their similar backgrounds will work in
his favor.

“As a karate fighter, I know exactly what a karate fighter doesn’t
like,” he said. “I know how to neutralize his game. Also, I’m much
more well rounded. Besides karate, my game also includes Brazilian
jiu-jitsu, wrestling, muay thai, boxing — plus my own style. I
truly respect him as a fighter and martial artist and I have no
doubt we will contend for a ‘Fight of the Night’ bonus.”

As for his fellow Brazilians on the UFC 291 card, Pereira tabbed
as a clear favorite against Ikram
, but he expects Alex
to have problems against Jan

“The range advantage [Pereira] had at middleweight, he will not
have against Blachowicz at light heavyweight — and we saw what
[Blachowicz] did to Adesanya. Concerning ‘Borrachinha,’ I dont know
this Russian he will fight, but Costa has great takedown defense
and is one of the strongest strikers of the division, so I bet he
will get a dominant win.”

As an aside, Pereira blames Costa for his aversion to wine.

“Thanks to him I’m allergic to wine,” Pereira quipped. “If someone
asks me to drink wine I want to throw up, and that happened because
of ‘Borrachinha.’ I don’t usually bet, but when he fought [Israel]
Adesanya I was so sure he would win that I decided to bet $4,700 on
him. Man, when he lost and revealed the wine episode, I got really
mad. I lost a lot of money because of that crazy s—t and since then
I just can’t drink wine anymore.”

Source link

Michel Pereira Confident His Skills Will Neutralize Stephen Thompson at UFC 291