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UFC Charlotte’s Anthony Smith would ‘love that fight’ against Alex Pereira, but expects ‘Poatan’ to struggle at 205

Alex Pereira is moving to light heavyweight.

The former middleweight champion, who was knocked out by longtime rival Israel Adesanya at UFC 287 last month in Miami, will be giving up his colossal weight cut to compete in a division better suited for his 6’4” frame.

And No. 5-ranked Anthony Smith will be waiting.

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ALL-ACTION HEAVYWEIGHT BATTLE! Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) returns to Charlotte, N.C., on Sat., May 13, 2023, for the first time since 2018 with an all-action main event between Heavyweight finishers as No. 9-ranked contender, Jairzinho Rozenstruik, aims to land another signature knockout when he takes on surging No. 12-seeded contender, Jailton Almeida. In UFC Charlotte’s ESPN+-streamed co-main event (also on ABC), No. 5-ranked Light Heavyweight contender, Anthony Smith, faces No. 7 Johnny Walker in a bout guaranteed to deliver fireworks.

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“Yeah, I would love that fight. I’m a big fan of Alex, I’m a big kickboxing fan so I knew who Alex Pereira was before he even came to the MMA side,” Smith said at the UFC Charlotte media day. “I was excited when I seen him get booked at LFA, I believe, I didn’t suspect he’d be on the regional scene very long just because of the type of athlete he is. I think the same problems he would have outside of Israel Adesanya at 185, he’s going to have at 205. I’m a huge Israel Adesanya fan, I don’t want to ever take anything away from that guy. But, if Izzy is blast-doubling you and controlling you on the ground, a guy like (Aleksander) Rakic, or (Magomed) Ankalaev or (Jan) Blachowicz or myself are gonna to give you the same problems.”

Smith knows a thing or two about brutal cuts to 185 pounds.

Before “Lionheart” can start thinking about Pereira, he’ll first have to get past fellow light heavyweight hurter Johnny Walker in the upcoming UFC Charlotte co-main event, locked and loaded for this Sat. (May 13) at Spectrum Center in Charlotte, North Carolina.

For much more on that ABC-televised fight card click here.

This story originally appeared on MMA Mania

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