Alex Pereira

Alex Pereira reveals previous alcohol addiction, wants to help people other defeat alcoholism

UFC middleweight contender Alex Pereira revealed his previous alcohol addiction, and now he wants to help people other defeat alcoholism.

Pereira is one of the top middleweight contenders in the UFC. At UFC 277 in July, he will take on Sean Strickland in what many are pegging as a No. 1 contender fight at 185lbs. Pereira is just 2-0 in the UFC since joining the promotion last year, but due to his previous wins over UFC middleweight champion Israel Adesanya in kickboxing, the UFC is fast-tracking Pereira up the 185lbs ladder.

It’s incredible how fast Pereira has moved up the UFC middleweight ladder, but it almost didn’t happen. Speaking on the “Connect Cast” podcast, Pereira revealed the trials and tribulations he went through during his kickboxing career. As far as Pereira goes, the actual fights were not the biggest obstacle he had to overcome. Instead, he admits that he had an alcohol addiction earlier in his kickboxing career, one that took him years to kick. But now that he’s beaten alcoholism, he hopes to use his platform to help others who are dealing with the same issue.

“A lot of people go through this kind of problem and I get a lot of messages. They want to know how I did it. Today, I see the importance. I was a little afraid, a little ashamed to speak, but today I am proud to speak, because I can help many people,” Pereira said (h/t AG Fight).

“This is the least I can do for the affection I receive from these people. I spent four years training and drinking. I was Brazilian professional kickboxing champion drinking. It took four years of trying, but I managed. Those were difficult years. The story is long. I remember the longest I stayed was six months. I wanted to be a controlled guy to get somewhere and be calm. I promised myself I would stop and I don’t drink anymore. I don’t see myself drinking anymore. I’m fine, it only brought me good things,” continued Pereira. “When I drank, I was happy there, at that moment, but today I am happy all the time, I’m happy all the time. I don’t need to drink, because I know where I’m going, I know where I’m going. You have to have a direction.”

Alex Pereira returns to the Octagon at UFC 277 on July 30. With a win over Strickland that night, a trilogy fight against Adesanya, but inside the Octagon this time, seems to be very possible.

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