Thursday, May 30, 2024

UFC Vegas 91 | Exclusive: “I’m Prepared for War” – Alex Perez

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UFC 300

Alex Perez was present during the big UFC 300 event. The American stood in the corner of ex-champion Cody Garbrandt who fought the first match of the evening.

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Deiveson Figueiredo will compete against Cody Garbrandt in UFC 300.

Photo: Getty Images

“An incredible experience. There were so many people. The atmosphere was truly fantastic. We were in the locker room with Jim Miller, Jiri Prochazka and Jalin Turner, among others. All names that could also be in a main event. Obviously, Cody’s fight didn’t go as we hoped. We can only learn from it, the good and the bad. I’m glad to be part of his journey.”

Training partner

Perez took the fight against Nicolau with just three weeks of preparation. Perez says he found out in a strange way that the Manel Kape, Nicolau’s original opponent, couldn’t fight.

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UFC Vegas 91: Nicolau vs. Cape 2

Photo: Getty Images

“One of my current training partners trained at Nova União, Nicolau’s gym. He informed me that Manel Kape was in the hospital and that he probably couldn’t fight and that there was a possibility that the UFC would call me. And that also happened a day later. I have never hesitated for a moment and never refused a fight. I was surprised because I was actually already booked on June 15 against Tagir Ulanbekov, but I am well prepared and am sure that I will be at my right weight.”

Muhammad Mokaev

Perez fought Muhammad Mokaev more than a month ago. That was the first time Perez fought in the UFC in almost a year and a half since his health problems. The American lost a close fight via unanimous decision. Perez disagreed with that outcome.

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UFC Vegas 87 | Mokaev remains undefeated after hard-fought victory against Perez

“I thought I won, but it’s not about what I think. The three jury members decide and I should indeed have done more, but you only find out afterwards. I hope to win against Nicolau and get a rematch against Mokaev one day. I don’t really worry about my losses in the UFC. I have lost to four-time title challenger Joseph Benavidez, former champion Deiveson Figueiredo, current champion Alexandre Pantoja and undefeated top prospect Muhammad Mokaev. I’m not going to give up on that.”

Matheus Nicolau

Perez expects an interesting match against Nicolau. The Brazilian is the number five flyweight and Perez the number eight.

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UFC Orlando | Nicolau beats Schnell via knockout

“I expect a good match that will be fought for the most part standing up. I like to punch people in the face and he’s not necessarily one to go for the takedown. I expect a twenty-five minute war. Of course I hope I can decide sooner. Nicolau and I are two of the best fighters in the division. He comes from a very strong camp. Nova União from coach Andre Pederneiras is one of the best gyms in Brazil. I expect a good and difficult fight.”

Online hate

Because Perez has regularly had to withdraw from fights due to health problems, he has also received a lot of hate from fans. Perez hasn’t been able to deal with it for some time now.

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Alex Perez talks to the media ahead of his fight against Manel Kape in San Antonio

Photo: Getty Images

“It irritated me at first. I also responded to tell them that in half the fights I had not withdrawn, but that it was my opponent. Those people just don’t want to hear or see that. It really doesn’t matter to me anymore. I can take a lot. My family and friends are always smart about me and I can deal with it very well.”

Title fight

Steve Erceg received a title fight from the UFC after his victory against Matt Schnell. The higher-ranked Muhammad Mokaev, who won against Alex Perez, did not get that chance. Perez is not surprised by the turn of events.

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UFC 301: Pantoja vs. Erceg

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“You’re only as good as your last fight. If you look at who Mokaev defeated, he was indeed more entitled to that opportunity. Only his victory over me was not spectacular. Erceg won via knockout against Schnell. So given that fact, I’m not surprised that the UFC chose Erceg.”

Acai business

In addition to fighting, Perez has an Açai business where he can be found every day. In Orange County, California he works in the store with his wife. Perez says that in addition to fighting, he has always had other work at the same time.

“I have had an Açai store with my wife for a year now called Açai Republic. I did this as an investment for the future. Fighting isn’t forever. I have always had work alongside my MMA career. From security to a teacher in the gym. I am very happy with this business. It’s going very well. I love food, but I always have to watch my weight. It is healthy and I also benefit from it. In short, very happy that I started this in addition to fighting.”

Where to watch UFC Vegas 91?

There is no preview show for this event. The broadcast of the prelims starts on Saturday evening, April 27 at 11:00 PM on discovery+.

At 1 a.m. it’s time for the main card with expert commentary from Sander Schrik and Marloes Coenen, which can also be seen on discovery+.

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