Pereira (9-2 MMA, 6-1 UFC) captured the vacant 205-pound title with a second-round knockout of Jiri Prochazka at UFC 295. Former two-division Glory Kickboxing champion Pereira became a two-weight UFC champion in just seven octagon fights. However, former K-1 World Grand Prix champion Overeem doesn’t see his reign lasting very long.
“He’s interesting,” Overeem said of Pereira in an interview with talkSPORT. “Do I see him as a champion? No. I think, at this moment, they have difficulty figuring him out, but the moment they figure him out they are going to destroy him, and that will be a tough time for him.”
Overeem, who competed in both MMA and kickboxing at the same time throughout his career, believes it’s only a matter of time before Pereira’s weaknesses are exposed.
“I think he’s excellent in the striking department, but his jiu-jitsu and his grappling are not there,” Overeem said “He’s so good in the striking department, other fighters are unable to take him down. The moment they figure him out striking-wise, it’ll be difficult for him.”
Pereira’s resume already includes wins over current UFC middleweight champion Sean Strickland and former champions Prochazka, Israel Adesanya and Jan Blachowicz. He is expected to make his first title defense against ex-champ Jamahal Hill, who vacated the belt after rupturing his Achilles tendon.