Alex Pereira Says Khamzat Chimaev Turned Down A Fight With Him, Chimaev Fires Back
Newly-crowned UFC Middleweight champion Alex Pereira says he accepted a fight with Khamzat Chimaev, but 'The Wolf' turned it down.
Newly-crowned UFC Middleweight champion Alex Pereira says he accepted a fight with Khamzat Chimaev, but ‘The Wolf’ turned it down.
Speaking through a translator on Ariel Helwani’s MMA Hour, Pereira claimed that he offered to fight Chimaev in January in Brazil. However, his offer included a stipulation that the fight occur at 205 lbs.
“[I] went to [my] manager and said, ‘Look, I just did a hard weight cut, I can’t make  for this right now, but tell the UFC I’ll challenge him to fight me at 205 at [UFC 283] in Rio.’ Chimaev didn’t want it,” Pereira said.
Alex Pereira says he asked his manager to propose a 205-pound fight against Khamzat Chimaev at UFC 283 in January #TheMMAHour
“Chimaev didn’t want to.”
— MMAFighting.com (@MMAFighting) November 28, 2022
Chimaev and his team said that Pereira’s claims were inaccurate. “I asked them about this fight in Brazil,” Chimaev wrote on Instagram before calling Pereira a “fake fighter.”
Subscribe and get our daily emails and follow us on social media.
By opting in, you agree to receive emails from TheMix.net. Your information will not be shared with or sold to 3rd parties.
Earlier this month, Pereira knocked out Israel Adesanya in the 5th round of their clash to win the 185lb belt. Chimaev did not waste time calling out the new champ. At the time, Chimaev even made a point to say he wanted to fight the Brazilian in his home country.
“I like competition,” Chimaev said in an interview with Brett Okamoto. “You know, go to somebody’s home and take his belt.”
The undefeated Chimaev is currently the 3rd-ranked welterweight contender, but has competed at both welterweight and middleweight in the UFC. His most recent fight was a 1st round submission win over Kevin Holland. That bout was a last-second catchweight at 180 lbs. The Chechnyan-born Swede has built his brand off of being willing to fight anyone, any time, at any weight class.
From Pereira’s perspective, the request to fight at 205 lbs makes sense. He just fought a few weeks ago, and would have to make a very quick turn around to be ready for UFC 283 in January. Furthermore, he is a massive middleweight and reportedly cuts over 40 lbs to make make the 185 lb limit.
However, it seems crazy that this fight would even be entertained by the UFC brass. For one, it is a brand new champion fighting a ranked contender in a lower weight division. On top of that, they would be fighting in a weight class that neither of them compete at, in a fight that has practically zero greater implications. Not to mention that the Pereira-Adesanya rematch is a no-brainer booking that would lose steam if Chimaev defeated Pereira.
All that said, there is no doubt that this hype fuels the fire for a Pereira-Chimaev booking down the line. If Chimaev continues his tear through the UFC rankings, he will likely fight for the middleweight belt at some point. Perhaps Pereira will still be the champ when he does.
How do you think a fight between Khamzat Chimaev and Alex Pereira would go?