With talk of a potential fight between newly crowned UFC middleweight champion Alex Pereira and undefeated Chechen monster Khamzat Chimaev in full swing, the Brazilian kickboxer is putting his takedown defense on display.
In a video uploaded by The MAC Life on YouTube, Pereira can be seen taking part in an indigenous wrestling contest with the caption, “(Khamzat) Chimaev trying to take me down.” Chimaev himself responded asking Pereira, “this is your level?” followed by a heap of laughing face emojis to drive home the intentions of his response.
Still fresh off his shocking fifth-round knockout of former champion Israel Adesanya at UFC 281, rumors began to swirl about a potential meeting between the two when Chimaev claimed he had accepted a fight with Pereira for UFC 282 on December 10th. Unable to make the cut to 185 on such short notice, Alex Pereira snapped back, claiming that he had accepted a fight with Chimaev at 205, but the Chechen declined according to Pereira. Chimaev has denied that claim as well.
What Comes Next For Alex Pereira and Khamzat Chimaev?
Khamzat Chimaev has long been linked to a welterweight showdown with the division’s gatekeeper, Colby Covington. In an interview, Dana White seemed very much interested in booking the two fighters to co-main event the promotion’s return to London, rumored for March 2023.
Talks of Chimaev vs. Pereira were likely a kneejerk reaction to Jiri Prochazka’s devastating shoulder injury and subsequent vacating of the light heavyweight title. With his world title rematch against Glover Teixeira canceled, the promotion was possibly looking for a big-money fight to help salvage their final pay-per-view of 2022.
One would expect Chimaev and the promotion to refocus on a fight with Colby Covington, but you can’t deny that a super fight of sorts between Khamazat Chimaev and Alex Pereira wouldn’t bring in serious numbers.
As for Alex Pereira, the middleweight king is looking down the barrel of a rematch with the man he has beaten on three separate occasions in two different sports. When and where that fight takes place is largely on Israel Adesanya’s shoulders, but it looks like Pereira is keen to stay active in the meantime.