Joe Rogan has suggested Alex Pereira's weight cuts are "sanctioned cheating" after he was crowned middleweight champion.
Pereira stepped up and accepted a title challenge against long-term rival Israel Adesanya at UFC 281 last weekend, and was crowned the new king of the 185lb division after scoring a final round stoppage win. The Brazilian was down on the judges' scorecards going into the final round, but managed to use his notorious power to close the show in stunning fashion.
It is well documented that Pereira cuts a significant amount of weight to reach the 185lb middleweight limit, with the 6'4" giant having previously documented himself tipping the scales at 232lb. And Rogan believes the significant size difference between 'Poatan' and Adesanya had a huge impact on proceedings.
“He could have been,” Rogan said on the latest episode of his Joe Rogan Experience podcast when asked if Pereira weighed around 220lb prior to his win. “I mean, he certainly gets above that in between fights. And he has a hard time making 185. It’s basically sanctioned cheating. It really is. But everybody does it. It’s a bulls*** thing.
“But Izzy barely does it. When Izzy went up to fight Jan Blachowicz at light heavyweight he weighed 194, which is crazy because Blachowicz is a giant light heavyweight. I mean, Blachowicz is a big, powerful guy at light heavyweight and Izzy didn’t gain any weight. [Pereira] looks like a light heavyweight. He really does."
Pereira looked considerably bigger than Adesanya as the pair went toe-to-toe in the octagon, with the new champion having already got the upper hand of his opponent twice during their kickboxing careers. It is now likely the 35-year-old will take on the challenge of an immediate rematch in 2023, with both men agreeing to the fight during separate interviews.
Who will win if the pair fight in a rematch - Alex Pereira or Israel Adesanya? Let us know in the comments section below
Adesanya has remained composed in the aftermath of the event suggesting that he remains confident he will be able to overhaul his defeat next year. Rogan also added how impressed he was with the way in which 'The Last Stylebender' dealt with the devastating defeat. “The way he responded to that loss is better than anybody ever," he continued.
"The dude shows up at the press conference with a f****** fur coat like a king — with his dope a** watch on and just says, ‘He got me.’ He basically said, ‘The hunter is now the hunted,’ ‘I’m coming after him,’ ‘I’m gonna find a way to beat that dude.
"‘I was on my way to beating him and he got me. And he was honest about all of it. About how Pereira landed a bunch of calf kicks early on and it f***** up his leg and [he] couldn’t move right.”