MMA/UFC

Michel Pereira moves up to middleweight to fight Marc-Andre Barriault at UFC Vegas 81

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UFC 291: Press Conference
Michel Pereira | Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

Michel Pereira is taking a break from the welterweight cut for now.

MMA Fighting confirmed with sources with knowledge of the matchup that Pereira (28-11, 2 NC) will fight Marc-Andre Barriault (16-6, 1 NC) in a middleweight bout at UFC Vegas 81 on Oct. 14. The bout was first reported by MMA reporter Laerte Viana.

This marks Pereira’s first fight scheduled to take place north of 170 pounds since he competed in an openweight bout against Dae Sung Kim in February 2019 prior to signing with the UFC. It is his first appearance at middleweight for the promotion.

The move was necessitated by Pereira badly missing weight for a scheduled bout against Stephen Thompson, which was supposed to take place at UFC 291. Pereira came in three pounds over the welterweight limit, prompting Thompson and his team to decline the fight. It was the second time that Pereira had missed weight in the UFC.

Canada’s Barriault seeks his third straight win and his fourth in five fights when he makes the walk at the UFC APEX in October. He is coming off of consecutive wins over Eryk Anders and Julian Marquez.

Mike Heck and Damon Martin contributed to this report.

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