ANAHEIM, Calif. – Michel Pereira had a tough go Saturday.
The UFC welterweight had a shaky start before turning things around against Andre Fialho to win a unanimous decision on the UFC 270 main card.
Pereira (27-11 MMA, 5-2 UFC) lost the first round when Fialho battered him with precise boxing. But the Brazilian came out strong in the second and third and pressed Fialho to get the better of the striking exchanges.
“First round, I was just testing and he surprised me,” Pereira told reporters at the UFC 270 post-fight news conference. “I was really surprised. The idea was just to assess things, and that really got me. I trained a lot, and that turned into a second round. But he really surprised me in the first round.”
Pereira is confident in his training and is sure that if he would’ve been on his game, he would’ve won all three rounds of the fight.
“I always tell my people to tell me the truth,” Pereira said. “At the end of the first round they told me, ‘You lost the first round. You lost it.’ The thing is, after the second round, all I needed to do was to impose my rhythm and do what I was set out to do.
“The only reason why I lost the first round was because I was just testing him out and I was assessing what he had to give me. If I had done what I was meant to do from the start, I feel like I would’ve not even lost the first round. I was just testing him to see what he had, and he really surprised me.”
Pereira now is on a four-fight wining streak since losing to Diego Sanchez by disqualification in early 2020. “Demolidor” is happy to continue the streak.
“I’m happy for not only the win, but also to be able to put on a show,” Pereira said. “It was a very hard training. I prepared very hard for this. The last two and a half months were tough, but to go back home with a win – it’s very gratifying.”