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Alex Pereira has packed a lot into his relatively short mixed martial arts career.

Despite making his UFC debut just two-and-half years ago, ‘Poatan’ has assembled a legacy befitting a fighter with several times more Octagon experience than he. In his brief run with the organisation thus far, Pereira has won titles in two different weight classes (repeating the feat he achieved in Glory kickboxing), won a main event fight in the iconic Madison Square Garden and headlined April’s historic UFC 300 card — all in the span of just twelve professional mixed martial arts contests.

Next weekend, Pereira adds another achievement to his glittering combat sports career when he steps in on short notice to main event the UFC 303 card that serves as the culmination of the fight league’s annual International Fight Week in a rematch against Jiri Prochazka.

And as he exclusively told The Mac Life through his interpreter, these types of opportunities cannot be ignored if you want to achieve greatness.

“I like taking these opportunities,” Pereria said of the short notice bout next weekend. “I’m going to be 37 [in July]. I don’t know for how much longer I’m going to be fighting. It’s a good opportunity for me to keep myself active, keep myself training. I’m always training — these opportunities, you just gotta take them whenever they come.

“The first contact from the UFC was on the 13th [of June],” he added. “That was when they made the offer, and I already had something in mind in what I wanted. For me, it’s very exciting – it’s an incredible opportunity, an amazing card.”

By the time he makes his now infamous walk to the cage in Las Vegas next weekend, just 70 days will have elapsed since his last fight — a first round knockout of former champion Jamahal Hill in the UFC 300 headliner. And he said that, while the lack of preparation time wasn’t ideal, he knew that he was going to rematch Prochazka sooner or later.

“It’s hard to say if I would accept the fight with someone else but in this case it is Jiri,” Pereira explained. “It’s not necessarily the fact that I’ve fought him before and beat him before, but the fact that we knew we were supposed to be fighting soon. We were already expecting to fight each other, so I feel like we’re almost around the same timing. If we were to fight in August, this is the time when we would starting picking up training.

“I don’t think he would have changed that much, it hasn’t been that long. I was just watching his last fight yesterday and obviously you can’t compare because it’s a different fight but I don’t think he was able to change that much after our last fight. If there’s one thing he could maybe change, it’s his takedown defence.”

The recent news that Jamahal Hill has sustained a knee injury which removed him from the UFC 303 card where he was scheduled to first fight Khalil Rountree and then Carlos Ulberg has, perhaps, robbed the card of a little light heavyweight drama.

But Peireira said that he harbours no ill will towards his former opponent, and would act as such if they crossed paths.

“I would be respectful to him,” he said. “If we were to fight, obviously he’s going to try to build up the fight and there’s a lot of things that are going to be said back and forth but at the end of the day we’re professionals. If you run into someone on a fight week, there’s no reason to not be professional. We’ve seen altercations in the back, that does happen but it’s not a kind of situation I would [put] myself into.

“If he were to say something to me or be disrespectful to me, I would know how to handle it. As far as getting into fights and altercations, that needs to be done inside the Octagon.”

This interview was conducted courtesy of