Alex Pereira Still Changes Tires for Fun at Former Workplace in Brazil

June 27, 2024
Alex Pereira seemingly hasn’t lost his touch when it comes to changing tires.

The UFC light heavyweight champion, who once used to work at a tire repair shop, just recently changed a flat tire with ease. Pereira defends his light heavyweight title against Jiri Prochazka in the main event at UFC 303 on Saturday at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.

Pereira got to test his tire-changing skills while on his way to the airport to fly to Vegas. The taxi carrying Pereira’s kids, which got a flat tire, didn’t have a jack. While the driver also appeared slightly clueless, “Poatan” took the jack from the car he was traveling in and got the job done.

“It’s just like riding a bicycle: Once you know, you know. Because I thought I didn’t know no more how to do it,” Pereira told ESPN through an interpreter. “But we were on the way to the airport, Melvin, my kids were [in] the other car. And then we saw the other car stopped, they had a flat tire. The guy kind of didn’t know what to do and man, it was a situation. Because the guy did not have a jack and had to get the jack from the other one. But you know what I mean, just got it done.”

Pereira dropped out of school at the age of 12 and took up a job at a tire repair shop However, the Brazilian started kickboxing in 2009 and the rest is history. After Pereira’s second UFC title win, a picture of the champ from 12 years ago working at the tire shop went viral on social media.

Having scaled the heights that he has in combat sports, it would be understandable if Pereira never wanted to change another tire. However, Pereira claims he actually enjoys the task and even changes a few for fun at his workplace whenever he visits his hometown.

“I like [changing tires], actually I like [it],” he said. “Always when I go to Brazil, go back to my old tire shop over there that I used to work [at]. I play around, I change some tires, I enjoy.”

Pereira and Prochazka stepped up on short notice to save the UFC 303 card after Conor McGregor pulled out of a Michael Chandler matchup due to a broken toe. Pereira claims fans are more excited for the card after the headliner was changed. It was a combination of things that led to Pereira accepting the fight.

”I think every aspect of it,” he said. “I’m not gonna say we’re fighting because [of any one thing]. I’m not gonna take a fight on such a short notice just like that. But I think the organization, the fans, the financial aspect is gonna be really good for me. So I think overall everything. We’ve seen the love of the fans, they’re now realizing that actually this change was better for the event, they’re more excited to watch this UFC 303 after [I] was put on the event. So, I think everything combined is the reason that [I’m] fighting Saturday.”


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