Pereira, a former two-division GLORY champion who agreed to face Silva on March 12, blasted Jotko earlier this week, labeling him “uninteresting.” On Thursday, “Poatan” went one step further, criticizing Jotko’s entire career and fighting style as the reason why he chose to face a fellow striker next.
“I asked to fight again soon, but it wasn’t easy,” Pereira wrote in Portuguese on his Instagram page. “The UFC had a hard time finding me an opponent and, in the end, only two accepted to fight me, Jotko and Blindado. Jotko is a notorious lay-and-pray [fighter] who’s in the UFC for almost 10 years and isn’t even ranked. So we thought that the Blindado fight would be more interesting since he’s on the rise in the UFC, is coming off seven connective knockouts and three in the organization. I think it’s a great fight for both of us and for the fans, for sure.
“My managers, ‘Joinha’ [Jorge Guimaraes] and everyone from Tough Media analyze everything regarding to my career. As for my opponents, we look for fights that will push me and create a good impression with the fans that didn’t follow me in kickboxing. It doesn’t matter right now if they are grapplers or strikers, what matters is them being names that fans like to watch and put on exciting fights.”
Pereira, who knocked out Andreas Michailidis with a flying knee in his UFC debut earlier this year, has faced criticism on social media for allegedly opting against facing a grappling-based fighter.
“Managing a career is about all that,” Pereira continued. “Contracts, numbers, fights, training, and they give me all the support I need to focus only about fighting. That’s something that exists in the sport. There will always be those trying to talk trash. There’s a lot of haters, including compatriots.
“I’ve never spoken badly about jiu-jitsu or wrestling at any moment. As a matter of fact I’ve been training a lot and for a long time with Glover and I like both sports. My criticism was aimed at Jotko’s style, a brown belt in jiu-jitsu who only has one submission in 23 wins, and 16 decisions. I’ll fight anyone, but if I have the chance to choose between [that] and a fight that’s more stylistically pleasant for me and the fans, of course I’ll choose this. No one likes watching boring fights.”
Silva has finished his past seven opponents by knockout.
Pereira, who currently holds a 4-1 record in MMA with four knockouts, guarantees he’ll be taking people down and grappling in the future, too.
“Don’t be surprised when I add some submission wins to my record,” Pereira said. “I respect MMA and I’m working hard to become a complete fighter. I came here to become champion and dominate the division.”