Alex Pereira sparring 6-foot-6-inch, 285-pound Chinese heavyweight boxer ahead of UFC 287
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Alex Pereira is a big, big guy.
But it seems the UFC middleweight champion is fighting even bigger people in preparation for his rematch with Israel Adesanya.
Why? He towers above Adesanya, so who knows?
Either way, pictures have emerged of Pereira's sparring partner and he's a scary, scary dude.
Pereira is set for his first title defence at UFC 287, taking on a division great and ex-champion in Adesanya.
Last time they fought, Adesanya lost the belt, despite dominating for much of the fight.
It was a combination of strikes late into the fight which appeared to rock the Nigerian-born New Zealander, forcing the referee to intervene and stop the bout.
Just four fights into his UFC career, Pereira was a world champion and he'll be hoping to keep that shiny belt with him when he returns home to Brazil after UFC 287.
Adesanya's striking ability is well documented – but so is Pereira's.
So to prepare for Adesanya's stand-up assault, the current champ has recruited the help of a heavyweight boxer from China.
But this isn't just any old boxer, this bloke is 6-foot-6-inches tall and weighs 285 pounds.
Zhilei Zhang - who boasts a record of 24 wins, one draw, one loss and 19 knockouts - is about to take on Joe Joyce for the WBO interim heavyweight championship.
In the meantime, he's helping out Pereira with a few 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 8th of April!"
However, when the UFC's 185-pound champion posted images from their training onto 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 cant see it then he needs a new team."
The two talented strikers will face off at UFC 287 on April 8th in Miami Florida.
Featured Image Credit: Instagram/alexpoatanpereira/Alamy
Topics: MMA, UFC, Israel Adesanya