UFC champion Kamaru Usman praises Michel Pereira: ‘He proved he can be a full, complete fighter’

Kamaru Usman liked what he saw on Saturday night.

The UFC welterweight champion was impressed with how fellow 170-pounder Michel Pereira performed on the main card of UFC on ESPN+ 34 in Las Vegas. Usman (19-3 MMA, 12-3 UFC), who was working as an analyst on the ESPN+ broadcast, praised Pereira’s more measured performance in his third-round submission win against Zelim Imadaev.

“I loved everything that I saw from him because he proved to everybody, our bosses, and myself included, that he can be a full complete fighter,” Usman said on the broadcast. “I mean, everything was spectacular –  his awareness, his cage awareness, the way he was moving, the way he was setting up those traps moving side-to-side and then landing those big shots. It was a spectacular performance from him.”

Pereira, who’s known for his wild and unorthodox style, seemed to be a little more careful in his approach against Imadaev. There were no backflips from Pereira, for instance, though he did still slip in a few other antics.

Pereira also called out UFC star Jorge Masvidal in his post-fight interview. It’s unlikely Pereira will bet “Gamebred” next, as UFC president Dana White revealed Masvidal vs. Nate Diaz 2 is in the works.

Usman is unsure what’s next for the Brazilian but expects something big.

“I think this is a guy that’s looking to get paired up against someone big in the future, the near future,” Usman said.

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