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UFC 291: Jan Blachowicz vs Alex Pereira 07/29/2023 Fight Preview, Predictions and Picks

UFC 291: Blachowicz vs Pereira 07/29/2023 – Former UFC middleweight champion Alex Pereira starts his campaign in the light heavyweight division as he faces former champion Jan Blachowicz in the co-main event of the UFC 291 on Saturday, July 29, at the Delta Center in Salt Lake City in Utah. Matches in the main card begins at 10:00 PM ET with ESPN+ covering the match live on television and UFC Fight Pass streaming the showdown for Internet subscribers. Pereira is coming off a two-round knockout loss to Israel Adesanya and surrendered the UFC middleweight championship.

On the other hand, Blachowicz is coming off a split draw to Magomed Ankalaev that cost him his bid to become a two-time UFC light heavyweight champion. Experts in sports betting see this as a close encounter as both fighters are skilled and experienced in their craft. They will try to use their strengths to their advantage and pounce on the opportunity to secure the win.

UFC 291: Blachowicz vs Pereira 07/29/2023

When:Saturday, July 29, 10:00 PM ET
Where:Delta Center, Salt Lake City, Utah, USA
Stream:UFC Fight Pass

UFC 291: Blachowicz vs Pereira 07/29/2023 Odds

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Jan Blachowicz-117Alex Pereira-103

Main Card

Jan Blachowicz

Blachowicz (29-9-1, 12-6-1 UFC) had a slow start in his UFC career, going 2-4 in his first six matches. He picked up steam in his next eight fights and went 7-1. That run gave Blachowicz an opportunity to fight for the vacant light heavyweight championship, which he won by beating Dominic Reyes two rounds. He defended the title against Israel Adesanya and won via unanimous decision. He lost the crown to Glover Teixeira via a two-round submission. The Polish fighter came back in May 2022 and won over Alexander Rakic. He was given another chance to fight for the vacant title seven months later against Magomed Ankalaev but it ended in a split draw.

Blachowicz has recorded 18 finishes (9 knockouts, 9 submissions) in his career. He has landed an average of 3.41 significant strikes per minute with an accuracy rate of 49%. He has defended 54% of the attempts against him and absorbed 2.81 strikes per minute. In terms of grappling, the Polish MMA fighter averaged 0.97 takedowns per 15 minutes. His takedown success rate is 53% and defended 68% of the takedowns launched against him. He rarely submits his opponents as his submission average is 0.24 per 15 minutes.

Alex Pereira

Pereira (7-2, 4-1 UFC) is returning to the UFC three months after losing the middleweight championship in the rematch with Israel Adesanya. He will make his first fight in the light heavyweight class since his Glory kickboxing days. The 36-year-old Brazilian will be up against a solid 205-pounder who once defeated Adesanya. The fighter known as “Poatan” will look to become a two-time champion and re-start his career in a new division. Pereira will bring his 6-foot-4 frame in one of the promotion’s premier weight classes in the hopes of getting another title shot. A win against Blachowicz will be a great step to his mission.

In terms of statistics, Pereira has six finishes, all by knockout, as he is an effective striker with a significant strike percentage of 59%. He has landed an average of 5.23 significant strikes per minute. His defense is solid with a 54% strike defense rate and has absorbed 3.76 strikes per minute. He rarely tries a takedown as evidenced with his 0.28 takedowns per 15 minute average. However, his takedown defense is awesome at 72%.

Blachowicz vs Pereira Betting Numbers

Jan Blachowicz
Alex Pereira
Last FightDrawLoss
Weight (lbs)205185
Reach (in)77″N/A
Win by KO/TKO31%86%
Win by Submission31%0%
Strikes landed per minute3.5N/A
Striking accuracy49%N/A
Striking absorbed per minute3.16N/A
Striking defense53%N/A
Takedown average1.46N/A
Takedown accuracy52%N/A
Takedown defense53%N/A
Submission average0.34N/A

Blachowicz vs Pereira Betting Picks

Blachowicz will again play the “gatekeeper” for those middleweights who aspire to conquer the light heavyweight division. He did it once against Adesanya and he hopes to dispatch another in former 185-pound king Pereira. Blachowicz has the fighting experience and skills to beat the Brazilian kickboxer who went up in weight to become a two-time light heavyweight champion. The UFC odds for this clash are almost even as both fighters are capable of pulling off impressive victories that would hand them a chance to fight for the 205-pound crown. A lot is at stake in this co-main event and the risks are big when two of the best mixed martial artists lock horns in a once-in-a-lifetime encounter.