As the old proverb goes, not all superheroes wear capes, but some of them wear face paint and colorful headdresses. Take Alex Pereira for instance. He might just be the greatest savior the UFC has even known.

When UFC 295’s main event between Stipe Miocic and Jon Jones fell through for Madison Square Garden, Pereira was at the ready to step in and save the day. When UFC 300 was at the Hail Mary stages of the matchmaking process, it was Pereira who showed up to put a beatdown on Jamahal Hill. And when Conor McGregor was forced out of his fight with Michael Chandler this week, the UFC threw up the Poatan signal yet again.

And yet again, Pereira answered.

That’s a fairly remarkable human being. As of Thursday, Pereira was in Australia soaking up some fanfare, visiting the Melbourne Storm rugby club, and exhibiting his skills in gyms, all the while continuing his training without an official appointment. When the UFC called and asked if he could be back in the States by June 29 to fight Jiri Prochazka again, Pereira looked at his new Rolex and shrugged.

“Yeah, I should be able to make that,” he said.


Pereira is the world’s greatest edit. The best revision possible. He is a 6-foot-4, stone faced consolation prize. He rarely makes the first editions of a PPV promotional poster, but he ends up on it plenty. Always holding his title, which he defends at breakneck speed. At his current pace he might surpass Demetrious Johnson’s all-time title defense record by July or August of 2025. His rocketship to stardom has made stops all over the world. He doesn’t smile a lot, or speak much English, but he knows the magic words to a fan’s heart.


Yes, yes, yes. That’s all the matchmakers need to hear. What makes it remarkable is that each fight is an escalation from the last. He won his title in a mad scramble of matchmaking, and he keeps defending his title in constant flux of chaos and turmoil. He and his team are like a rescue unit. They show up when called upon to save the day. A little over two weeks’ notice to take on a guy who fancies himself a bit of a samurai, and is out for revenge? Why not! For Pereira there’s no such thing as ideal circumstances, full training camps, or clean bills of health.

It’s just “yes.”

Pereira is perhaps the only fighter who can fight at the attention-snatching pace of social media. It seems like his name is always trending. The UFC aren’t just losing events. They are losing monolithic happenings. Crater-sized holes need to be filled every time they call on Alex. They had to pivot from a Jon Jones legacy fight, and yet nobody cared too much because Pereira brought his own gravitas to New York City. When Dana White needed the closest thing to a superstar he could find to headline UFC 300, Pereira moved in like a reckoning and — against all odds — the event quietly lived up to its lofty billing. 

Now, imagine having to step in for Conor McGregor? The biggest star in the game, who was coming back after three years. The one irreplaceable fighter on the roster, on a fight card that is uncancellable due to International Fight Week, the Hall of Fame festivities, and the thousands of fans who have already booked their travel. Pereira is like a security blanket. He’s the insurance policy. The most electrifying fallback option in Hunter Campbell’s phone, and the one who commonly hears three words before his name.

“Thank God for…” 

It could only be Alex Pereira. If the UFC had convinced Max Holloway to stand in against Michael Chandler, people would have groaned. The problem is that wouldn’t have been enough to forget. If the Harlem Globetrotters can’t make it to a game they don’t rebook the Washington Generals against the local high school, you know? Conor’s absence would’ve loomed over the T-Mobile like a million busted parlays.

But Pereira? He’ll distract us just fine in McGregor’s absence. He’ll have people forgetting come fight night. He’s as mysterious as Easter Island and just as expressionless, yet he’s something more than just the UFC’s light heavyweight champion. He’s emerged as the UFC’s greatest hero. 

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