Alex Pereira was unimpressed with Khamzat Chimaev’s callout following the biggest win of his mixed martial arts (MMA) career.
UFC 276 earlier this month (July 2, 2022) saw the Brazilian kickboxing sensation capitalize on a huge opportunity opposite the then-No. 4-ranked, Sean Strickland. Landing his patented left hook to score a first round knockout (watch highlights), Pereira seems to have lined himself up for his first MMA title shot against reigning Middleweight kingpin, Israel Adesanya.
However, “Poatan” immediately found himself in the crosshairs of one of the Welterweight division’s top contenders, Chimaev, who reacted to the win saying he wants to fight Pereira.
“Look at this guy,” Pereira told MMA Fighting in response to Chimaev’s tweet. “I’m going to fight for the belt, it’s guaranteed. He wants attention. ‘Oh, I wanna fight this guy.’ He knows I’m the next contender and he still says something like that. I’d like to see [what he would do] if Dana White came out and said, ‘Alex, your shot at Adesanya is guaranteed but he wants some time to prepare, so fight this guy first because he wants to fight you. Your title shot is still guaranteed.’ Let’s see what he would say.
“[Chimaev] wants attention because he knows it doesn’t make sense,” he continued. “I’m going to go back and fight him when I’m already guaranteed for the belt? He wants attention, but he’ll have to take a number and go back to the line.”
While Chimaev has fought at Middleweight in his career — as recently as Sept. 2020, knocking out Gerald Meerschaert in 16 seconds (watch highlights) — he’s made it apparent that his focus is at Welterweight.
Today (Tues., July 19, 2022), Chimaev had his next bout announced, where he’ll face Nate Diaz on Sept. 10, 2022, in the main event of UFC 279.
“These guys wanna make a name for themselves [by talking],” Pereira said. “If I wasn’t going to fight for the belt already and he said something like that, hats off to him. But the way he’s doing it, he’s a coward. He’s a coward seeking attention.”