Join us as we preview a hot UFC prospect from this week’s UFC Fight Night: Santos vs. Ankalaev MMA event. Read on for our complete UFC Vegas 50 betting guide – taking the first look at our hottest prospect of the week, Alex Pereira and his opponent, Bruno Silva. Including updated UFC odds and our free expert UFC picks.
Alex Pereira vs. Bruno Silva
UFC Middleweight Bout
Saturday, March 12, 2022 – 10:05 PM EST at UFC Apex
Alex Pereira (4-1-0)
For our hot prospect of the week at UFC Vegas 50, we travel to Saõ Bernardo do Campo, Saõ Paulo, where the incredibly talented Alexsandro Pereira was born – better known as Alex Pereira.
Before you set the wolves on me for supporting a fighter with just 5-fights on his professional MMA record, you must recognize that Pereira has gathered a lifetime of combat sports experience.
Pereira, 34, broke away from the Brazilian Favelas to pursue a career in kickboxing, and boy did he make the correct life choice. A 33-7 kickboxing record saw Pereira become the No.1 ranked middleweight and light heavyweight globally - claiming championships in glory at both weight classes.
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As of writing, Pereira is the only fighter on the planet who's managed to knock out the UFC middleweight champion Israel Adesanya when the two competed in a kickboxing bout. In addition, he defeated Adesanya on a second occasion, giving him a 2-0 lead over the decorated UFC star.
In 2015, Pereira transitioned his kickboxing skills into MMA; his first professional MMA bout provided a roadblock he hadn't yet encountered – a submission loss. However, he's remained undefeated since this date and stopped all of his opponents via knockout.
As you can imagine, the UFC brass is hoping Pereira's striking offense can lead him into the top-five of the division, as a storyline contest with Adesanya would become a history-making moment in the sport. The plan has worked out thus far. Pereira made his promotion debut at UFC 268 in November 2021 with an emphatic flying knee knockout finish over Andreas Michailidis.
Alex Pereira Fight Analysis
We can only assume that Pereira has worked solidly on his grappling offense and defense since entering the CRUZ MMA gym in 2015. The game plan for most opponents being matched with Pereira will naturally involve a heavy grappling blueprint, which we witnessed in his UFC debut.
Michailidis instantly took down Pereira, but he impressively made his way back to his feet. And then, the inevitable played out – a striking masterclass.
When Pereira is allowed to make use of his striking attributes, he's one of the scariest prospects in the world of MMA. Every second spent in a striking battle with the Brazilian is detrimental to his opponent's wellbeing.
Betting Pick and Odds
Bruno Silva (22-6-0) is another bright prospect from Brazil, but his mixed martial arts experience is the critical difference. With that said, he regularly enjoys a striking contest himself – potentially creating the perfect opponent for Pereira.
The sportsbooks have positioned Pereira as a -175 betting favorite, despite having more than 20-fights lesser experience than Silva. Rewatching Pereira's UFC debut gives me goosebumps; the fashion in which he delivered the flying knee was so calm and collected. He wasn't surprised or excited by the result; it's what he does and what he's been doing for a long time outside of MMA.
Silva is a difficult task, but I must ride the Pereira wave – his striking skills are that damn good!
UFC Vegas 50 Main Card and Odds
- Thiago Santos vs. Magomed Ankalaev [UFC Light Heavyweight Main Event Bout]
- Marlon Moraes vs. Song Yadong [UFC Bantamweight Co-main Event Bout]
- Alex Caceres vs. Sodiq Yusuff [UFC Featherweight Bout]
- Khalil Rountree vs. Karl Roberson [UFC Light Heavyweight Bout]
- Drew Dober vs. Terrance McKinney [UFC Lightweight Bout]
*The line and/or odds on picks in this article might have moved since the content was commissioned. For updated line movements, visit BMR’s free betting odds product.