Alex Pereira makes his highly anticipated light heavyweight debut when he faces former 205-pound champion Jan Blachowicz in the UFC 291 co-headliner this Saturday in Salt Lake City, Utah. Will Perera make the weight advantage and deliver another highlight reel knockout? Or will Blachowicz screw up his divisional debut and find himself relegated to the light heavyweight title picture?
That said, here is a look at some of the most prominent names in MMA and who they are predicting to win between Jan Blachowicz and Alex Pereira at UFC 291.
Which fighters are predicting a victory for Jan Blachowicz?
Many in the MMA world are picking Blachowicz to win and surprisingly (or surprisingly), including Israel Adesanya, who hopes Blachowicz uses the same game plan he used on himself. Everyone else believes that the 40-year-old has too many tools in his game to not come out on top.
UFC Middleweight Champion Israel Adesanya
“I think Jan will take him down and beat him there. Jan will stand with him for a while, but eventually he’ll either get him to the fence or try to take him down the way he took me down. I don’t think he’s going to shoot, so he’ll either get him over the fence.
Former UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Jamal Hill
“I think the winner of this is the number one contender. Who wins the fight? I do not know. I would give Jan the edge in combat for the simple fact that Jan can attack. He has the ability to overpower Pereira, as well as take him down, tie him up, wear him down and beat him if he is able to uncover his grappling shortcoming. [Pereira’s] Play.”
UFC heavyweight contender Curtis Blades
“Blachowicz – I think he’ll take advantage of the scramble.”
Former UFC Welterweight Title Challenger Stephen Thompson
“Man, Blachowicz is addicted to that weight. I don’t know man. I think he’s going to use his weight so I’m going for Blachowicz.
UFC lightweight contender Armen Tsarukyan
“I think Jaan can definitely get him on the field. Perera moves forward, he’s not a rear-footer. … It won’t be hard to find him. Jaan can definitely do that.”
UFC Lightweight Renato Moicano
“I think Jan Blachowicz is going to attack a little bit and when he sees the time, he will knock it down. One thing I didn’t like about Alex Pereira’s camp is how I saw him training with Dillon Dennis. Let’s be honest, this boy [Danis] Not a real MMA fighter.
“Dennis took him down. Imagine Blachowicz shooting for a takedown. He is going to catch Alex Pereira. I can only hope that Alex Pereira will catch him on a knee or a hook, but I don’t see that.”
Which fighters are predicting for Alex Pereira to win?
Unfortunately for Pereira, not many are picking him to win, and this is partly due to his inexperience in MMA. Additionally, with Blachowicz having already defeated Adesanya in their melee, it seems the general consensus is that Pereira will be taken down for three rounds en route to a decision defeat. There are some people who are leaning towards him, he said.
Former UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Glover Teixeira
“I think this is a great matchup for Alex. I think Alex is going to take over the whole division. He is going to be light heavyweight champion again.
UFC welterweight contender Neil Magnie
“I think Alex Pereira has been able to do this just because of his ability to survive shots. Even at 185, that’s a huge weight cut, with Izzy the last to land the first strike he lands on the canvas. So I think he is taking some time off, moving up a weight class will increase his stamina as well as his ability to deliver punishment.
UFC Lightweight Evan Elder
“I think Alex will be a bit more technical and will be able to pick him up. If Jan tries to grapple him, I’ll have no doubt. That would be the smart thing to do. …But I still see Alex doing it. I think he’ll be very long and wide and technical with his striking to close the distance well. … I don’t think he’ll be able to walk the range without getting bombarded by Alex. I’m going to say that Alex got the job done.”