Alex Pereira Discusses Fighting Through Broken Toe, Groin Shot at UFC 300

UFC
April 15, 2024
There wasn’t anything that could stop Alex Pereira from leaving UFC 300 with the light heavyweight title still in his possession.

The former Glory Kickboxing champion suffered a broken pinkie toe in the weeks ahead of his bout against Jamahal Hill, then brushed off a groin shot just moments before authoring a devastating knockout victory 3:14 into the opening round of Saturday’s headliner at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.

UFC CEO Dana White revealed Pereira’s injury during Saturday’s post-fight press conference, but it wasn’t something “Poatan” planned on letting affect his performance.

“That happened in the last couple of weeks,” Pereira said. “It’s not something that I was going to pull out of the fight. I had to push through. It happened in the moment of my camp that I had to be slowing down my training, so I had to just push through.”

After a measured beginning from both light heavyweights, referee Herb Dean was about to step in and pause the bout when Hill appeared to land a kick to the groin of his opponent. Instead, Pereira extended an arm to halt the referee, signaling that he was fine to continue. Moments later, he floored Hill with a left hook and sealed his victory with a barrage of follow-up punches on the canvas.

“I was starting to find my distance,” Pereira said. “I started using leg kicks from the beginning so I could find his distance. He’s a southpaw, so it’s a little harder.

“My game plan was to start throwing hands after that, so then he threw the groin shot, but it did not really hurt too much, so I chose to just keep pushing so I did not have to reset the distance. Capitalize on the moment.”

After the bout was waved off, Pereira taunted his fallen adversary. The celebration was in response to a pre-fight faceoff in which Hill smashed a stone head that has become one of Pereira’s trademarks.

“I spoke with my team before that I wanted to fight five rounds, but if the knockout happened, that’s what I was going to do,” Pereira said. “He behaved not so good. He started respectful during the week and then he did what he did during the press conference and the weigh-ins, so honestly the least that I could do was just that to him.”

During his post-fight interview, Pereira implied that he would be interested in moving to heavyweight and potentially competing at UFC 301 in Rio de Janeiro on May 4.That prompted interim heavyweight king Tom Aspinall to post a photo of himself looming in the background during Pereira’s walkout. However, the Brazilian would not take the bait when asked about potential heavyweight foes.

“I said I want to fight at heavyweight, but I’m not going to give names right here,” Pereira said. “I told them I want to fight at heavyweight, so whoever they choose.”

Meanwhile, White wasn’t as enthusiastic about Pereira moving up another division in the near future.

“When you think about him moving up to heavyweight, you’ve got [Jon] Jones, you’ve got Aspinall. Heavyweight division is nasty,” White said. “I don’t know if that’s the right move for him. He looked damn good tonight in the division’s he’s in. I think he might want to stick around there for a minute.”

Reference: https://www.sherdog.com/news/news/Alex-Pereira-Discusses-Fighting-Through-Broken-Toe-Groin-Shot-at-UFC-300-193336

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