Pereira did not have the showing he wanted in Vancouver.
First of all, he missed weight, making him ineligible for a bonus. Pereira’s opponent was Tristan Connelly, a fighter making his UFC debut at 33 years old, taking a fight on short notice and moving up from lightweight to fight at welterweight.
Connelly came ready to fight, and had an excellent game plan. He figured that Pereira would wear himself out in the first round and would gas out. This held to be true and was the path to victory for Connelly winning the fight in a unanimous decision.
Pereira came out as he usually does with wild movements and exciting flips. Connelly had no idea what was happening as he just retreated trying to avoid the attacks. Pereira even did a backflip twice in the round, once as an attempted double foot stomp vs. a downed Connelly.
There was a lot of flash to the round as was expected.
But maybe too much emphasis on flash for a fighter who will not be paid for extra flash.
Michel is only 25 years old, but has over 30 professional fights. His tendency has been to finish fights in the first round and he has trouble when the fight goes the distance. He looked exhausted at the end of the first round, and it looked like there was no way Pereira would make it 3 rounds. The weight cut may have taken away from his conditioning and stamina.
The Brazilian is huge at welterweight, and it was even more evident facing a fighter moving up in weight. Even when Pereira had no energy, he seemed to be able to throw Connelly’s takedown attempts to the side for most of the fight. However, he could barely throw a punch due to fatigue.
Pereira has been one of the most exciting fighters in the UFC even in his short 2-fight tenure.
Excitement is great, and fans love the theatrics, but that taste sours when the result is a loss. Excitement and praise turns to criticism and questioning. Pereira will need to find a better balance in his fight game to save some energy in the event that he finds himself in the later rounds of fights.
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Connor “Rags” Rogowsky is a co-owner of The Scrap and its current President. Rogowsky played football and track collegiately, and holds a Masters of Science in Psychology from Southern New Hampshire University. Make sure to follow Rags on Twitter (@rogowskyc).