Jan Błachowicz is excited to welcome Alex Pereira to the UFC’s light heavyweight division, but he also isn’t sure if the Brazilian has taken enough time off following the brutal knockout he suffered in his last fight.

A former light heavyweight champion, Błachowicz last appeared at UFC 282 when he and Magomed Ankalaev fought to a split draw that left the UFC’s light heavyweight title still vacant. Jamahal Hill went on to defeat Glover Texieira at UFC 283 to claim the belt, and now the #3-ranked Błachowicz will try to set himself up for a title shot when he takes on Pereira at UFC 291.

“Poatan” has competed at light heavyweight as a kickboxer, but the Brazilian has called the middleweight division home for the first nine fights of his MMA career. Pereira only needed three UFC victories to challenge Israel Adesanya at UFC 281 and become the promotion’s middleweight champion, but the 35-year-old was stopped in the second round of their rematch at UFC 287.

Jan Błachowicz Questions Alex Pereira’s Quick Return 

Pereira’s light heavyweight debut at UFC 291 will take place a little over three months after he was knocked out by Adesanya, and Ariel Helwani asked Błachowicz on The MMA Hour if he expects that loss to affect the Brazilian at all.

Pereira was brutally knocked out by Adesanya in his last fight. (Rich Storry/USA TODAY Sports)

“For sure he will be – he need to be very careful, because you know after knockout your head is not stronger,” Błachowicz said. “It’s just weaker. Every time when you have this kind of knockout. So for sure, he’s gonna be completely different fighter and I have to be ready for this…Sometimes it’s normal, sometimes you see the fighters coming back very earlier than three months. But we’ll see if it’s good decision for him. I think it’s too early, but it’s not my problem.”

A win for either Błachowicz or Pereira could easily set the winner up for a light heavyweight title shot, as it’s currently unclear what the UFC’s plans for the division are.

“Sweet Dreams” is eager to solidify his place as champion by taking on Jiří Procházka, but the 30-year-old is still recovering from the shoulder injury that cost him the light heavyweight title.

Błachowicz and Pereira will square off in the co-main event of UFC 291, which immediately became the most-anticipated event on the UFC calendar after Dana White surprised fans by announcing the entire main card last week.

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