Alex Pereira turned to Sean Strickland

Former UFC middleweight champion, Alex Pereira, did not ignore the success of his former rival and sparring partner, Sean Strickland, who defeated Israel Adesanya by unanimous decision at UFC 293 in Sydney to take the championship belt from the Nigerian.

“I told you guys, but nobody believed me,” the Brazilian wrote on social media. “Congratulations Shawn! You’ve earned it! Looks like my plan to go down to middleweight one more time has just been canceled.”

“Talking about the fight, everyone was giving their opinion before the fight, but I didn’t see a single ‘MMA expert’ give Sean the credit he deserved. Now everyone is looking for excuses because they were wrong. That’s all they can do. It’s sad because these guys never change,” the former UFC champion added.

Pereira also posted a video in which he shared his opinion on the title fight.

“A lot of people are now saying, ‘Adesanya wasn’t at his best, he didn’t fight like he usually does at all.’ In reality, Shawn came out and stifled his game. He acted very smart. He was coming forward the whole time, showing incredible defense. At the same time he shot very accurately, all his movements were calibrated, he didn’t do anything extra and we all saw the result. I want to congratulate Sean again – he’s done a fantastic job and I’m delighted with the change in the division”

Last November Alex Pereira took the championship belt from Israel Adesanya by TKO in the fifth round, but in March this year the Nigerian regained the title in an immediate rematch, knocking out the Brazilian in the second five-minute round. Pereira then made a successful debut in the UFC flyweight division, defeating Jan Blachowicz by split decision, and will next fight Jiri Prochazka for the vacant championship belt.