Chael Sonnen: Alex Pereira can become MMA GOAT if he wins UFC heavyweight title

Chael Sonnen makes a case for Alex Pereira becoming the greatest MMA fighter of all time if he can capture the UFC heavyweight title.

Pereira (10-2 MMA, 7-1 UFC), a former middleweight champion, retained his light heavyweight title when he knocked out Jamahal Hill in the first round of Saturday’s UFC 300 main event.

Pereira’s rise to the top has been nothing short of spectacular. The former two-division Glory kickboxing champion had an immediate impact upon signing with the UFC in 2021, which resulted in titles in two weight divisions. If he can capture a third belt – which has never been done in the UFC – Sonnen said fans need to start considering Pereira as the greatest of all time.

“I look at Alex Pereira. That’s an amateur; he has an amateur’s record,” Sonnen said on “The Fighter and The Kid” podcast. “He’s done it 12 times now. He’s only done it eight in the octagon but within those eight, he’s captured two world titles, and he’s beaten five world champions. And if I was to tell you that Alex Pereira – who’s never had a wrestling match, he’s never had a grappling match, he is not a black belt – is the greatest to have ever done it, you would roll your eyes.

“But if he became champ-champ-champ, and he is the first person ever that could actually do it, we stand back and go, ‘He actually might be able to.’ If he did that, we’re not out having a conversation on who the GOAT is. We will just refer to him as the GOAT. …Think of how great Georges St-Pierre is but you know he won 70, 185, but none of us thought he could go up to 205. Or Daniel Cormier, when he gets the heavyweight, the light heavyweight but we knew he couldn’t make the weight class of 185. It’s one of those things where a guy can only go so far.”

After knocking out Hill, Pereira expressed interest in a quick turnaround at heavyweight for UFC 301 on May 4 in his home country of Brazil. Interim heavyweight champion Tom Aspinall, who was in attendance, posted a cryptic image of him staring down Pereira.

“He really does want the Tom fight. That wasn’t just like, you know, he’s high on adrenaline,” Sonnen said. “He tried to get the Tom fight at 300. Remember, he was putting out that that cryptic equation, three plus 30 equals 300. He really would do it, and he’d be the first person where we’d stand back – and I’m not saying I think he could beat Tom, but he’d be the first person we go, ‘Yeah give him a shot, he might be able to beat him.'”

For more on the card, visit MMA Junkie’s event hub for UFC 300.

Story originally appeared on MMA Junkie