Wow. Michel Pereira just made his UFC debut, and in this author’s opinion, he did not even remotely disappoint. As he walked out to the octagon in tears, his emotion caused UFC commentators to openly speculate whether or not he would have a successful debut.
After all, athleticism and an entertaining fighting style doesn’t always translate to a victory in the big leagues. And his opponent, Danny Roberts isn’t an easy fight for anybody.
Michel Pereira vs. Danny Roberts
As Pereira was break-dancing during the fight introductions, viewers likely questioned if he was utilizing too much energy prior to the fight even beginning. As the fight initiated, we saw high-paced offense from Pereira. He attempted a rolling thunder attack, a “Showtime” kick off the cage, and a secondary jump off the cage in less than two minutes.
As I watched this exciting display, I couldn’t help but wonder, “Can Pereira keep this pace up for three rounds in the UFC?” But I never found out, because he didn’t need three rounds.
The high-flying Brazilian defeated Danny ‘Hot Chocolate’ Roberts via first-round knockout. The method? He landed a gravity-defying jumping knee and a straight punch that knocked Roberts onto his back, out cold.
The term “unorthodox striker” is used to describe many types of MMA fighters. But there are levels of uniqueness and skill that can be displayed in unorthodox striking. For example, Ben Rothwell and Michael ‘Venom’ Page are both described as unorthodox on the feet. But they are vastly different strikers from one another.
Pereira himself is a rarity among MMA’s unorthodox striking fraternity. He made that very clear with the splash he made into the UFC welterweight division against Danny Roberts. At 25-years-old, his professional MMA record is now 23-9-0-2 NC. Whether he can climb into the ranks among the elite remains to be seen, but his fighting style is undoubtedly a gift to fight fans everywhere. The MMA gods often taketh, but at UFC Rochester, they gave in a big way.
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