UFC: Alex Pereira’s Tribe, Nickname, Face Paint & Walkout Explained

Few fighters have captured the attention of fans quite like Alex Pereira. ‘Poatan’s’ stoic demeanour, devastating power and tribal influence endear him to many.

His formidable presence, accompanied by enigmatic music and striking body paint, holds profound significance, representing a heritage Pereira proudly embraces with every octagon appearance.

Alex Pereira’s Tribe & Ethnicity

Alex Pereira Tribe explained
Photo via Ubiranan

Pereira is a descendant of the ancient Pataxó warrior tribe of Brazil. They are indigenous people with a population of close to 12,000 who speak Portuguese and a modern variation of their ancient language Pataxó (formerly their primary language).

The Pataxó people are proud to be represented by Pereira. Tribal leader Ubiranan told MMA Fighting “We gain visibility and respect with his fights. He has indigenous roots and has chosen to represent the Pataxó people. Because we were the first to face the Portuguese [in 1500]. We’ve had so many battles, and now we battle to preserve what’s left of our ethnicity.” [h/t Guilherme Cruz, MMA Fighting]

‘Poatan’ Meaning

Pereira’s fighting nickname ‘Poatan’ is a Tupi-Guarani name, meaning ‘Hands hard as rocks’. This is also represented in the stone texture tattoos on his hands.

Alex Pereira’s Walkout Explained

Pereira owes his heritage to his paternal Grandparents, and he resurrects his culture in his nickname, presentation, and walkouts. The Brazilian knockout artist is well-known for his pre-fight walkout, where he trots into the arena backed by tribal music, aims at his opponent with a mock bow and arrow and roars as he releases the quiver.

Alex Pereira's walkout explained
Alex Pereira’s famous walkout

“It [Pereira’s heritage] made me feel more confident,” Pereira told The Sun. “We wanted to resurrect my origins and indigenous culture. I made a ritual with the bow and arrow. Thena sequence with the indigenous music and that’s how it started.”

Alex Pereira’s Walkout Song

Pereira’s walkout music is Itsári, by Sepultura, a Brazilian heavy metal band. You can listen to the full song below, courtesy of the Sepultura YouTube Channel:

“Recorded in a state of the Brazilian Midwest region called Mato Grosso, in a part of the Amazonian jungle with members of the indigenous Brazilian Xavantes tribe, the chanting is from a Xavante healing ceremony.

Itsári, the song’s title, translates to “roots” in the Xavante language.”

via Genius

Alex Pereira’s Face Paint & Head Dress Explained

Alex Pereira face paint explained

Pereira’s headdress and face paint at weigh-ins and face-offs are intended to honor his ancestral heritage. They also build on his already imposing figure to intimidate his opponents.

The color red is used for war by the Pataxó people.

Alex Pereira Fighter Profile FAQ

What is Alex Pereira’s UFC Record?

(Apr 16, 2024) Pereira is 10-2-0 MMA, and 7-1-0 in the UFC. He last defended his light heavyweight title against Jamahal Hill at UFC 300.

What are Alex Pereira’s UFC losses?

(Apr 16, 2024) Pereira has one loss in the UFC, a knockout defeat to Israel Adesanya at UFC 287.

What are Alex Pereira’s Stats?

(via UFCStats, Apr 16, 2024) Pereira lands an average of 5.1 significant strikes per minute, with a 62% accuracy. He has defended 50% of strikes, and 70% of takedowns. He has landed 100% of takedowns attempted in the UFC.

What is Alex Pereira’s Height & Weight Class?

Pereira is 6’4″ and currently fights in the light heavyweight division (205 lbs). He has also fought at middleweight (185 lbs).

What is Alex Pereira’s kickboxing record?

Pereira is 33-7-0 in kickboxing with 21 knockouts. He previously held the GLORY light heavyweight and heavyweight titles simultaneously, becoming the first fighter to do so.

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Mathew Riddle MMA

Mathew Riddle

Mathew is a combat sports journalist & designer. His past bylines include Sports Illustrated, Heavy on UFC, Sport Skeeda, MMA UK, and MMA Sucka.