“Everyone has their own mind”

Las Vegas – Ahead of the short main event of UFC 303 between light heavyweight champion Alex Pereira and ex-champ Jiri Prochazka this weekend, a strange kind of debate has arisen.

Earlier this week, while appearing on The MMA Hour, Prochazka accused champion “Poatan” of using shamans and spiritual aid to aid in his fights. It’s a belief the challenger doubled down on during Wednesday’s UFC 303 media day — and one that Pereira (10-2) didn’t exactly deny when asked about the allegations during his own media day appearance.

“Everyone has their own mind. We are not just flesh and bones,” Pereira said through an interpreter. ‘I just found mine. If he hasn’t found his or if he doesn’t believe, it’s not my fault.”

Prochazka had stated that he wanted a ‘clear’ (perhaps ‘clean’) fight between the two, referring to the use of magic and spiritualism. It doesn’t look like he’ll get it, judging by Pereira’s reaction.

Now a two-time UFC middleweight and light heavyweight champion, the Brazilian has come a long way in his career. An image of him can still be found on Google Maps working in a tire shop in Brazil, he confirmed on Wednesday. The difference between the Alex Pereira of the past and the one who cast an imposing specter for the 205-pound division is stark.

“Much more, I am a real person. A man who has goals now has plans,” he said of the difference. “So I think someone is very different from before.”

Pereira also recently opened up about past struggles with alcoholism on his YouTube channel. “I felt like I had to tell the story, to show people that sometimes alcoholism doesn’t just affect you, it actually affects everyone around you,” Pereira said when asked about his decision to tackle the subject Cards. “And I just wanted to show people that this sport can save you.”

Watch Alex Pereira’s full UFC 303 media day appearance above.