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Khamzat title shot? UFC 287’s Alex Pereira doesn’t want to talk about ‘disrespectful’ Chimaev

If you’re going to talk about potential Middleweight contenders after UFC 287, don’t bring up Khamzat Chimaev’s name because Alex Pereira isn’t interested ... at all.

UFC 283: Teixeira v Hill Weigh-in Photo by Buda Mendes/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

Easy peasy?

Alex Pereira took the Middleweight title off Israel Adesanya at UFC 281 back in Nov. 2022 (watch highlights), and now he hopes to defend it at UFC 287 this weekend (Sat., April 8, 2023) in an immediate rematch. And after he dispatches “The Last Stylebender” for the fourth time in Miami, Fla., “Poatan” is looking forward to taking on all the other 185-pound contenders.

All of them, that is, except for Khamzat Chimaev.

“This week, I’m obviously focused on Israel,” Pereira said during UFC 287 media day. “But talk about [Robert] Whittaker and Paulo Costa. I know they want to fight me. They were never disrespectful. They always kept their composure. But, when you talk about Chimaev, he’s the kind of guy that seems to be a little lost, talks too much.

“Right after my last fight, he said that he wanted to fight me at this weight class,” he continued. “He knows it was right after the fight, everybody’s injured. I could not make that weight so I challenged him to fight at 205 pounds. Ran. To be honest, if it’s Whittaker or Paulo Costa, if the organization wants to put us to fight, it’s my job to fight as the UFC champion.

“But, I don’t even want to talk about Chimaev,” Pereira concluded.

No one seems to want to talk about Khamzat ... or at least no one in his current weight class. “Borz” hasn’t fought since UFC 279 in Sept. 2022, where he missed weight so badly it basically ended his days as a Welterweight. Now that he’s committed to competing as a Middleweight, many top 185-pound standouts feel like he needs to re-establish himself as a contender before they’ll face him.

It seems like there’s always a reason fighters won’t accept a bout against Chimaev. At least Pereira’s position as champion makes a bit more sense. Chimaev’s biggest win at 185 pounds is over Gerald Meerschaert. Let’s see him knock down someone in the Top 5 before talking about title shots ... if any of those guys will face him.


Remember that MMAmania.com will deliver LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire UFC 287 fight card right here, starting with the early ESPN+ “Prelims” matches online, which are scheduled to begin at 6 p.m. ET, then the remaining undercard on ESPN/ESPN+ at 8 p.m. ET, before the PPV main card start time at 10 p.m. ET on ESPN+ PPV.

To check out the latest and greatest UFC 287: “Pereira vs. Adesanya 2” news and notes be sure to hit up our comprehensive event archive right here.

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