Alex Pereira is a big, big guy.
However, in preparation for his upcoming rematch against Israel Adesanya, it appears he is sparring with even larger opponents. It's unclear why he would choose to do so, given that he already has a significant height advantage over Adesanya.
Either way, pictures have emerged of Pereira's sparring partner and he's a scary, scary dude.
At UFC 287, Alex Pereira will defend his UFC middleweight championship for the first time, facing off against former champion and division legend Israel Adesanya.
Their last bout saw Adesanya dominating for much of the fight, but Pereira ultimately took the victory and the belt with a series of strikes that rocked the Nigerian-born New Zealander, prompting the referee to end the bout.
With only four UFC fights under his belt, Pereira achieved the remarkable feat of becoming a world champion. He will undoubtedly be looking to retain his title and bring it back to Brazil following his showdown with Adesanya at UFC 287.
Israel Adesanya is known for his exceptional striking skills, but so is Alex Pereira. In anticipation of Adesanya's stand-up attack, Pereira has enlisted the help of a heavyweight boxer from China.
However, this isn't just any ordinary boxer. Standing at an imposing height of 6-foot-6 inches and weighing 285 pounds, Zhilei Zhang boasts an impressive record of 24 wins, one draw, one loss, and 19 knockouts. Currently preparing for his own fight against Joe Joyce for the WBO interim heavyweight championship, Zhang is also lending his expertise to Pereira through a series of sparring sessions.
What a sparring ! After 4 rounds with zhilei zhang Im very confident for my next fight ! It was a hard and dangerous sparring - exactly what I needed. Now I know even more- I’m 💯 ready for 8th of April! pic.twitter.com/1oKCLhbu6b— Alex "Poatan" Pereira (@AlexPereiraUFC) March 19, 2023
"What a sparring! After 4 rounds with Zhilei Zhang I'm very confident for my next fight," his social media caption read.
"It was a hard and dangerous sparring - exactly what I needed. Now I know even more I’m ready for the 8th of April!"
However, when the UFC's 185-pound champion posted images from their training on Instagram, fans were all asking the same question.
One person commented: "No wrestling?"
While another added: "Work on your wrestling please you'll be unstoppable."
As a third said: "Bro it's gonna be a grappling match, not a boxing match, and if he can't see it then he needs a new team."
The two talented strikers will face off at UFC 287 on April 8th in Miami Florida.