It didn't take long for Khamzat Chimaev to call out new middleweight champion Alex Pereira after winning the belt. Last weekend, he defeated Israel Adesanya by technical knockout in the fifth round and took the belt from him, and it was the third time that Pereira defeated Adesanya.
Now that the new champion has been crowned, many fighters have started to call him out, seeing their opportunity. One of them is, of course, Khamzat Chimaev, and numerous fighters and analysts immediately threw themselves into forecasts of how that match might look.
Daniel Cormier also gave his opinion, and he believes that Chimaev could be the favorite in a possible match against Pereira. “If you schedule him and Khamzat right now, and Khamzat goes, ‘This is my belt, let me fight,’ Khamzat would be a massive favorite to beat Alex Pereira,” Cormier said on his “DC & RC” ESPN show.
“Just because of the style. The style just does not match up yet and Pereira, he’s so young in his career that this (Adesanya) was honestly the ideal champion for him”.
Pereira vs Adesanya rematch ?
Nevertheless, he said that the UFC should arrange an instant rematch between Pereira and Adesanya: “I don’t know if you benefit from putting these two dudes against other people,” Cormier added.
“Because I truly do believe that there are some very difficult matchups for Alex Pereira that weren’t as difficult for Israel Adesanya and that, to me, was shown in the third round when Izzy was able to control him once he took him down.
You stick him in there with a grappler or a wrestler, he might get drowned out”. The UFC will most likely arrange a rematch between Adesanya and Pereira immediately, but it would certainly be interesting to see Pereira against an elite wrestler or grappler.