Michel Pereira was explosive as always but he also had to showcase some real resolve in order to get past Andre Fialho at UFC 270 on Saturday night.
Known for his diverse arsenal on the feet, Pereira definitely uncorked some flashy moves but it was his ability to make adjustments between rounds and just stay consistent as he battered Fialho with strikes throughout the second and third rounds to get the job done.
The judges all scored the fight 29-28 with Pereira winning his fourth straight fight in the UFC.
“My opponent was really, really strong,” Pereira said afterwards. “That jab really surprised me. Thank god, I was able to keep focus and just turn things around.”
In the face of a highly creative opponent, Fialho decided that pressure and aggression were going to be his best weapons while Pereira continued to stay dangerous with his huge explosive movements. While Pereira was throwing front kicks and even attempting Superman punches off the cage, Fialho was constant with a slick jab that continued to give the Brazilian headaches.
After a first round that saw him go to the corner with a bloody nose, Pereira was more patient in the second as he tagged Fialho with a pair of hard right hands that had the UFC newcomer backing up. Pereira followed that up with a pair of stiff kicks straight to the body that caught Fialho’s attention as he tried to find some sort of counter to slow him down.
Despite Fialho’s best effort, the offensive onslaught continued with Pereira looking for the flashy finish but he was also careful not to get too aggressive to give his opponent a chance at a comeback. Still, Pereira was assaulting Fialho from head to toe including plenty of damage being dished out to the midsection.
With five minutes remaining and the scorecards likely tied at a round a piece, Fialho attempted to turn the tables by pushing forward again, which helped him find success early in the fight. This time, however, Pereira was ready as he began firing back with powerful punches along with more of those same kicks that continued to give Fialho problems all night long.
While Fialho made a strong showing for a short-notice debut, Pereira was dynamic with his offense and really put a show to walk away with the win.
Pereira will undoubtedly look for a ranked opponent now as he seeks to make waves in the welterweight division after adding another win to his resume.