UFC signs Brazilian prospect Michel Pereira

Michel Pereira has gotten the UFC’s attention.

The Brazilian prospect earned headlines in February after trying some flashy moves during his openweight victory at ROAD FC in South Korea. Less than a month later, “Demolidor” tells MMA Fighting he has signed with the UFC.

Pereira, 25, is coming off back-to-back knockout victories under the South Korean promotion in a span of two months, improving his mixed martial arts record to 22-9 (and two no-contests) with more than two-thirds of those victories coming by way of stoppage.

The UFC has yet to book Pereira’s Octagon debut.

The Brazilian has competed at welterweight, middleweight and even openweight throughout his MMA career, but told MMA Fighting earlier this month that he would rather fight at 170 pounds if given a chance in the UFC.

“Every athlete that fights MMA dreams of being in the UFC and that’s my childhood dream,” Pereira said at the time. “It’s the biggest promotion in the world. The biggest MMA icons fight there.”

Asked about his fighting style, Pereira said not everyone seems to be a fan of it.

“Everything is criticized in the world today, and my style was heavily criticized in the beginning,” Pereira said. “I was always swimming against the tide. The norm was always to fight for the finish, but I opted for the show, to do the things I was doing, and many people criticized me. People didn’t believe in what I was doing. I was told many times that the things I was training wouldn’t work, but I chose to put on a show.

“People said I was a clown and should be in a circus, but I always believed and had people who supported me. The people that were the closest to me were the ones that put me down the most, told me to quit fighting and get a job, that it wouldn’t work, but I believed in God and everything worked.”

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