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Daily Mirror
Daily Mirror
Ben Davies

Alex Pereira told he is "worst UFC 185lb champion ever" after Israel Adesanya win

UFC legend Chael Sonnen believes Alex Pereira is the "worst UFC 185lb champion ever" after he dethroned Israel Adesanya.

Pereira received a title challenge against long-term rival Adesanya at UFC 281 in New York last weekend after winning just three fights since signing with the promotion. And 'Poatan' capitalised on the opportunity recording a stunning stoppage in the final round to dethrone the champion and steal the crown.

The Brazilian has been a thorn in the side of Adesanya, having defeated the Nigerian star twice during their kickboxing career s in both 2016 and 2017 respectively. However UFC legend Chael Sonnen believes Pereira will struggle in wrestling battles if he is to successfully navigate further tests while reigning as champion.

“Alex Pereira is the worst middleweight champion of all time," Sonnen said on his YouTube channel when assessing Pereira's title-winning performance against Adesanya last weekend. "That’s the claim, now you need supporting evidence. The evidence is that he’s the champion of the world and Bo Nickal could beat him and Bo Nickal has never even fought in the UFC before.

"That’s the statement. There it is. Boom. It would appear that if you were good at wrestling, that you could take him down. It would appear that. Now, we haven’t seen that. Like, we don’t actually have evidence of that.

"We saw Pereira on bottom after a scramble. There was a takedown attempt initiated by him. Izzy flipped his hips and came out on top. How sure are you really that this is the worst ever?

"How sure are you really that those other champions could have beat him? And which champion is it you think had the grappling power to get him down in the first place? I mean, what champion do you think. This is the worst ever.

"We’ve already put him in a category of only champions. We’re not going. I’m not trying to juxtapose Pereira against some of your heroes. I’m just asking you which hero is it that you’re so sure could walk in there and handle Pereira?”

Do you agree that Alex Pereira is the worst UFC middleweight champion ever? Let us know in the comments section below

Alex Pereira became UFC champion after beating Israel Adesanya (Frank Franklin II/AP/REX/Shutterstock)

It is likely that Pereira's rivalry with Adesanya is far from over with 'The Last Stylebender' set to receive an immediate opportunity to avenge his latest loss in 2023. Both fighters have stated they are open to the rematch, with Adesanya confident given his status as the leader on the scorecards prior to the stoppage.

However he also is convinced that the referee Marc Goddard stopped the fight too early and is certain he should have had his hand raised at the final bell. He said after the final bell: "My ego would say, 'At least let me go out on my shield.'

"I don't think I would have gone out, because I was still there. I've seen worse stoppages, bring back Steve Mazzagatti, I would have been fine. He might have won that round but I would still be the champion."

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