Alex Pereira Reportedly Offered Khamzat Chimaev A UFC 283 Bout, But He ‘Didn’t Want It’
Pereira is coming off of a stunning win against Israel Adesanya for his title.
Alex Pereira claimed that Khamzat Chimaev turned down his offer to fight.
Pereira recently recorded one of the biggest upsets of this year after taking out longtime rival Israel Adesanya and snatching his UFC middleweight title. After the fight, Chimaev called out Pereira on social media.
“Ready to fight in Brazil,” Chimaev wrote. “Let’s go champ.”
Ready to fight in Brazil @AlexPereiraUFC let’s go champ 🤪🤝
— Khamzat Chimaev (@KChimaev) November 13, 2022
Pereira and his coach Plinio Cruz reacted to the challenge on Monday on “The MMA Hour.” The new UFC champion claimed that they were open to a fight in January at light heavyweight.
“[I] went to [my] manager sand 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 on The MMA Hour.
“He’s a big guy, [I’m] a big guy, let’s do it at light heavyweight so we don’t have to worry about a weight cut. We offered 205 for Rio.”
But a source close to Chimaev denied the claims, according to MMA Fighting. Chimaev later took to social media and said, “Wtf. I asked them about this fight in Brazil, fake belt fake Coach fake fighter.”
— MMAFighting.com (@MMAFighting) November 28, 2022
Chimaev last fought in September at UFC 279 where he submitted Kevin Holland in the first round of an event that was far from normal.
The Russian fighter was originally scheduled to headline against fellow welterweight Nate Diaz – in his retirement bout – but Chimaev missed weight by 7.5 pounds. It forced the entire fight card to be adjusted.
Pereira said he has to rest for now after a “hard fight.” UFC President Dana White said that he would be willing to give an immediate rematch if Adesanya wanted it.
Adesanya previously said that the “war is not over.”