Alex Pereira wants to defend Glover Teixeira’s honor.
It was a turbulent 2022 for the student and master with the former earning a title and the latter dropping his in an instant classic. Teixeira fought one final fight this past weekend (Jan. 21, 2023) in his home of Brazil, but came up short in his bid to recapture Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) gold.
Hill defeated Teixeira via a relatively one-sided unanimous decision (watch highlights), nearly finishing Teixeira in the latter half of the bout. Claiming the vacant title, Hill now has an eventual date with the last champion, Jiri Prochazka, to look forward to. Meanwhile, the new Middleweight kingpin, Pereira, sees an opportunity before “Denisa” returns.
“I heard Prochazka is injured,” Pereira commented on Instagram (h/t MMA Junkie) after seeing Hill’s claims that he’ll knock out Prochazka. “What about knocking me out?”
“What’s popping?” Hill responded on The MMA Hour (h/t MiddleEasy). “What’s popping? Like we can get that, we can get that cracking. If you wanna come on up and try his luck with that, come on in. I’m not ducking [anybody]. I’m not scared of nobody, bro. And I take very seriously the challenges. It gives me extra incentive to f—k you up.
“I said ‘I think I knock him out’ — and I do,” concluded. “I mean, hey, like I didn’t say, I said that. He feels some type of way about it. Show me. I’m in the show me business.”
Pereira, 35, has never fought at 205 pounds in his mixed martial arts (MMA) career, but is one of the larger Middleweights and would presumably fit right in if he were to move up. Largely considered one of the best strikers in the sport, if not the best, Pereira defeated Israel Adesanya via a comeback fifth-round technical knockout (watch highlights) in Nov. 2022 to kick off his title reign.
The aforementioned Prochazka won the Light Heavyweight title in a similar come-from-behind fashion, dethroning Teixeira in June 2022 with a last-minute fifth-round rear-naked choke submission (watch highlights). The two were scheduled to rematch at UFC 282 last month (Dec. 10, 2022) until a nasty shoulder injury forced Prochazka out of the bout and away from his title. Therefore, opening the door for Hill to swoop in and pick up the vacant strap.