Glory two-division champ Alexsandro Pereira is not your average training partner.
Scheduled to face former Bellator MMA light heavyweight champion Ryan Bader in the first April 9 bracket of the grand prix, Lyoto Machida received two important reinforcements in the final weeks of his camp. Both Ultimate Fighting Championship veteran and next light heavyweight contender Glover Teixeira as well as Glory’s 185- and 205-pound champion ‘Poatan’ Pereira, and the latter spoke with Sherdog right after his arrival to Florida.
“It’s such an honor to be learning from these two MMA legends,” Pereira explained. “I came with Glover to help Lyoto, but I’m the one who is being helped here.”
After his impressive debut in Legacy Fighting Alliance, where he demolished Thomas Powell in the first round, Pereira has his sights set on ruling the kickboxing realm. Pereira is the only man to knock out UFC middleweight champion Israel Adesanya, and he revealed that his main plan now is return to kickboxing, move up one more division and try to be the first fighter to conquer three belts in the international kickboxing promotion.
“Right after beating [Artem Vakhitov] last January and conquering my second Glory belt, I challenged [Glory heavyweight champion] Rico Verhoeven,” ‘Poatan’ explained. “I’m the first to conquer belts in two divisions (at the same time), now I want to challenge myself once more. I think I have the technical tools to surprise Rico.”
Pereira also analyzed former rival Adesanya’s first loss in MMA, a man he faced and beat twice.
“He was clearly afraid of being hit by [UFC light heavyweight champion Jan Blachowicz], and that fear made him lose,” Pereira stated matter-of-factly.
The Glory double champion predicted that while Blachowicz may have gotten the better of Adesanya, the Polish champ will have problems defending his belt against Teixeira.
“Glover is a totally different challenge for Jan,” Teixeira’s friend and training partner said. “He is really focused on getting the belt, training so hard, and I truly believe he will do that.”
According to ‘Poatan,’ he and Teixeira will stay in Florida two more weeks to prepare Machida for his tournament bout against Bader. The bout is a rematch of one that took place nine years earlier at UFC on Fox 4, where Machida knocked Bader out in the second round with a lightning-quick right hand. “The Dragon” and “Darth” will square off on April 9 at the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Conn., as the main event of Bellator 256.