SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH – JULY 29: Alex Pereira of Brazil celebrated a remarkable victory in a light heavyweight fight during the UFC 291 event at Delta Center on July 29, 2023, in Salt Lake City, Utah. The event was filled with excitement as fans witnessed an intense battle between two formidable fighters.
Alex Pereira, a former UFC middleweight champion, proved his mettle yet again by stepping up to the light heavyweight division and securing a hard-earned victory against former light heavyweight champ Jan Blachowicz. The split decision result (29-28, 28-29, 29-28) highlighted the closely contested bout, sparking some controversy among fans on social media regarding the judges’ scores.
— UFC (@ufc) July 30, 2023
Despite the controversy, Pereira’s triumph over Blachowicz has positioned him as a top contender in the light heavyweight division. This division has lacked a stable champion since the departure of Jon Jones. The belt has remained vacant after Jamahal Hill’s unfortunate injury, and Blachowicz’s previous bout with Magomed Ankalaev ended in a controversial draw.
“My focus is always the belt,” Pereira stated through an interpreter after the fight. “I want to fight for the belt, it doesn’t matter against who.” The Brazilian fighter’s determination and ambition are clear as he sets his sights on the prestigious light heavyweight title.
Pereira’s move to the light heavyweight division comes after his impressive victory against UFC middleweight champ Israel Adesanya, followed by a rematch loss that cost him the title. Opting not to pursue a trilogy against Adesanya, Pereira decided to challenge himself in the higher weight class.
In the aftermath of this exhilarating clash, the UFC fanbase eagerly anticipates the next moves in the light heavyweight division. As Pereira strengthens his claim for the belt, contenders like Magomed Ankalaev, Jamahal Hill, and Jiří Procházka will be working tirelessly to regain their fighting form.
- Alex Pereira defeats Jan Blachowicz by split decision in his light heavyweight debut at UFC 291.
- Controversy surrounds the judges’ scores, but Pereira’s victory establishes him as a top contender.
- The light heavyweight division has been without a stable champion since the departure of Jon Jones.
- Pereira expresses his single-minded focus on the UFC light heavyweight belt.
- Pereira moved up to the light heavyweight division after losing the middleweight title in a rematch.
Table: Light Heavyweight Division Contenders
|Magomed Ankalaev||Expected to get another shot at the vacant belt|
|Jamahal Hill||Recovering from a ruptured Achilles tendon|
|Jiří Procházka||Recovering from injuries|