UFC 297: Alex Pereira set to corner former opponent Sean Strickland in main event

Past opponents become allies at UFC 297 with light heavyweight champion Alex Pereira set to corner middleweight king Sean Strickland in his title defense against Dricus du Plessis.

Sources close to Strickland’s camp confirmed the news to MMA Fighting on Saturday following an initial report from ESPN.

Of course, Pereira earned his own shot at the UFC middleweight title after he knocked out Strickland back at UFC 276 in 2022. The Brazilian went onto become champion with a knockout over longtime rival Israel Adesanya.

Now less than two years later, Pereira has changed divisions and he now serves as the 205-pound champion following a finish against Jiri Prochazka this past December. With middleweight behind him, Pereira now looks to help Strickland in the first defense of his belt after he became champion last September.

Pereira joins a coaching staff that also includes Xtreme Couture head coach and lead cornerman Eric Nicksick, who helped lead Strickland to a stunning win over Adesanya to become champion.

After game planning and fighting each other, Pereira now calls Strickland a friend as he prepares to walk to the cage with him on Saturday in an attempt to hand du Plessis his first loss in the UFC.

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