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Alex Pereira: I offered to fight Khamzat Chimaev at light heavyweight, he ‘didn’t want it’

Alex Pereira claims Khamzat Chimaev turned down a fight with him at UFC 283 on January 21, 2023, in Rio, Brazil.

Alex Pereira claims he offered to fight Khamzat Chimaev in Brazil but that the latter didn’t accept it.

Khamzat called Pereira out following his fifth-round TKO win over Israel Adesanya at UFC 281, claiming that he’d finish ‘Poatan’ inside one round and smash him with ease.

But Pereira claims Khamzat went radio silent when he laid out his conditions to fight at light heavyweight, telling MMA Fighting’s Ariel Helwani that ‘Chimaev didn’t want it’ despite all his talk on social media.

“[I] went to [my] manager sand said, ‘Look, I just did a hard weight cut, I can’t make [185] 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, the newly-crowned UFC middleweight champion, said during a recent appearance on The MMA Hour (h/t MMA Fighting).

“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.”

Khamzat competes at welterweight but has been known to fight at middleweight, boasting stoppage victories over John Phillips and Gerald Meerschaert. He is thought to cut a lot of weight, but not as much as Pereira, who is rumored to walk around at 220 pounds between fights. Given the size advantage Pereira would possess at light heavyweight, it’s no surprise Khamzat rejected his offer, especially without a title on the line.

UFC 283 is scheduled to take place on Jan. 21, 2023, at the Jeunesse Arena in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Khamzat is still hoping to fight on the card, this time targeting a rematch with Gilbert Burns at middleweight.