Alex Pereira is fresh off becoming the UFC Middleweight world champion after knocking out Israel Adesanya in the fifth round of their fight at UFC 281, and he’s now been promoted to brown belt in BJJ shortly after. Pereira received his latest belt-promotion in the sport from BJJ and Judo black belt Plinio Cruz, who is the owner and head coach of Cruz MMA and a former professional MMA fighter in his own right. Pereira is primarily known as a striker, being the first and currently the only Kickboxer to hold two GLORY titles in different weightclasses at the same time.
It was this level of striking ability and the phenomenal power in Pereira’s hands that won him his first UFC title-fight, and there was pretty limited grappling action in the UFC 281 headline fight. Both men in the fight were purple belts in BJJ at the time that they met, with Adesanya being promoted to that rank by Andre Galvao towards the end of 2020. Adesanya had managed to display his grappling skill a few times over the course of his MMA career so far and there’s plenty of footage of him putting it to good use in training.
It should come as no surprise then that Adesanya seemed to get the better of the grappling exchanges in their fight but in the end, it amounted to little for him. While Adesanya was leading on the scorecards after the first four rounds, he was caught with several powerful shots by Pereira and the referee waved the fight off as a result. When Alex Pereira returned home to Cruz MMA, he was greeted by his coach and promoted to BJJ brown belt as a result of the hard work that he’s put into developing his skills over the years.
The footage of UFC Middleweight world champion Alex Pereira being promoted to brown belt in BJJ by his coach Plinio Cruz was uploaded to the official Instagram account of Ariel Helwani: