UFC flyweight contender, Alex Perez, is fast approaching title contender status in the promotion – just three years deep into his stint. The 28-year-old, who was signed to the 125-pound division after a first-round anaconda finish of Kevin Gray on Dana White’s Tuesday Night Contenders Series – has already secured the #9 rank in the division.
The Colin Oyama trainee has featured a further six times in the Octagon, dropping just a single defeat in the process. The Californian has displayed a well-rounded arsenal of knockout power and offensive grappling – which has resulted in finishes of Jordan Espinosa, Mark De La Rosa, Jose Torres, and Carls John de Tomas. In his sole promotional defeat, Perez dropped an opening-round knockout to three-time title challenger, Joseph Benavidez – after some questionable officiating by referee, Yves Lavinge.
Speaking with Colin Crandall from the MMA Power Hour, Perez explained how his only Octagon defeat against Benavidez came as a result of an earlier headbutt. The top-ten contender further told how Deiveson Figueiredo should be afforded another opportunity at the vacant flyweight title – regardless of the clash of heads, and a botched weight-cut that occurred in his UFC Fight Night Norfolk headliner with ‘Joey Two Times’.
“I feel they should give (Deiveson) Figueiredo another chance,” Perez explained. “That’s the first time he’s ever missed weight. He knocked out Joe (Benavidez) – people are saying about the headbutt, but Joe headbutts everybody. He headbutted me, he headbutted Jussier (Formiga), he headbutts all the guys he fights. This time, it just cost him more. I feel like you should probably put (Alexandre) Pantoja in there or Brandon Moreno. Those two guys are probably the two guys that deserve the next shot. I feel like Benavidez should have to win a couple more fights before getting a title shot. That’s the way I feel about that.“
Perez further explained how the current COVID-19 pandemic has thrown the division out of motion and expects two or three more victories in his next outings would warrant his premier title opportunity under the UFC’s banner.
“It’s just hard to say, we’re at a hold up now obviously with this whole coronavirus thing going on,” Perez said. “Everything happened with Joe and Deiveson Figueiredo, so it’s kinda like a pause – but I’m saying, maybe two or three [wins], I can see myself in that title hunt. Yeah, two or three wins.“