Alex Pereira x Sean Strickland: Into The Shadow Realm is meant to be enjoyed in video format. This article is a transcript of that video with a graphic to break down the finishing sequence. Enjoy!
At UFC 276, Alex Pereira stole the show with the best finish of the night. He knocked out Sean Strickland and set up a third fight with current UFC champion Israel Adesanya. While he was unranked, everyone knew just how good Pereira was. A former two weight Glory kickboxing champion, Pereira packed a punch, pun intended, with his left hook that’s put many men away.
Alex Pereira Setting Traps for Sean Strickland
Ahead of the fight, Sean Strickland said he wasn’t concerned about the kickboxing of Alex Pereira and that it was way overrated. He said, “Here’s the thing. There’s not one f*cking kickboxer in any weight class that I can’t stand and bang with.” Famous last words by the bold and brash Strickland. On the night, Sean Strickland would learn the hard way that Alex Pereira is one of the heaviest hitters in the UFC’s middleweight division.
Early in the fight Pereira would go to work setting up the the lead hook that he’s had so much success with. To do this, Pereira would go to the body, punching Strickland in the chest. He conditioned him by dipping and changing levels on the punch. Every time he did this, Strickland would parry his rear hand down, exposing his right side and providing a lane for the lead hook.
In the finishing sequence, Pereira’s trap would work perfectly. Pereira changes levels to get Strickland to parry the punch that would never come. Pereira is a step ahead of Sean Strickland and knows that Strickland is going to try to parry. This comes from his vast experience in kickboxing. His 33-7 record provides him with the foresight of what should happen, which it does.
Alex Pereira did some crafty things against Strickland aside from setting up the parry. Pereira constantly circled to Strickland’s left, pulling him into his left. This is pulling him into the power left hook Pereira is looking for. In addition to that, leading up to the finish, Pereira started to increase the frequency of the punches to the body, getting Strickland in more of a rhythm.
Finally, off the parry, Pereira launches the lead hook that lands right on the chin of Strickland, hurting the American and soon after, putting him away.
Alex Pereira was a fantastic study in kickboxing and in mixed martial arts, he is just as interesting as a case to look into. Not many have striking and power at his level and while his wrestling may be sub-par, it doesn’t matter when all fights start on the feet and Pereira possesses the great equalizer: power.