Despite coming into UFC 281 with just a handful of MMA fights, former kickboxing two-division champion Alex Pereira was able to capture the middleweight crown with a stunning, fifth-round technical knockout victory over Israel Adesanya in the Nov. 12 headliner at Madison Square Garden in New York.
Undefeated something-weight sensation Khamzat Chimaev, who may or may not be a decorated wrestler on the international circuit (depending on who you ask), was not impressed by the Brazilian’s performance, particularly with how easily “Poatan” was taken down and controlled on the ground by a fellow striker.
“This is my belt, let me fight UFC,” Chimaev wrote on Twitter. “Let me fight with this guy, one [round] I finish him. Easy money. [I’m] ready to fight in Brazil. Let’s go champ.”
Chimaev (12-0), no stranger to the middleweight division, was on his way to competing for the welterweight title until a massive scale fail — and subsequent upset in the UFC 278 main event — turned the division upside down. But if “Borz” wants to return to 185 pounds, it sounds like the increasingly-confident Pereira (7-1) will be ready and waiting.
“I’ll be ready for anybody, I’ll fight anybody,” Pereira responded when asked about Chimaev at the UFC 281 post-fight press conference (watch the video replay here). “I’m evolving so much and so fast, I have such a great camp at Teixeira’s. I’ll fight anybody.”
Working in Chimaev’s favor is the fact that most of the top middleweights have already come up empty in recent title fights. That said, UFC President Dana White is actively considering a rematch between Pereira and Adesanya for early 2023, which would likely leave the brash “Borz” out in the cold for the foreseeable future.
For more results and fallout from UFC 281 click here.