Khamzat Chimaev Takes Aim at Alex Pereira: "First Round, First Minute"
by FARUK IMAMOVIC | VIEW 300
It has been nearly seven months since Khamzat Chimaev last stepped into the cage, and there is still no fight scheduled for the promising fighter. Back in September of last year, Chimaev defeated Kevin Holland at UFC 279. Originally slated to fight Nate Diaz, the UFC was forced to rearrange the card when Diaz dropped more than 3 kilograms at the official weigh-in.
Since then, Chimaev has been a frequent presence at UFC events and in the media, calling out other fighters for potential matchups. The latest target of Chimaev's call-outs is middleweight champion Alex Pereira.
In a recent interview reported by MMA Fighting, Chimaev expressed his desire to fight for the middleweight belt, saying, "I told them for the [middleweight] belt, so then UFC said — I only spoke with Sean Shelby about that fight.
Sean Shelby first says, ‘Yes, brother, let’s try it.’ Then he went back the day after and said, ‘No, brother, we’ll fight Colby first and then we’ll see.' I said, ‘OK.’ After that, we didn’t speak about that fight with anybody." When asked about Pereira's suggestion that they fight at 205 pounds, Chimaev was dismissive, saying, "The UFC doesn’t want to see you [Pereira] fight [having just won the middleweight belt] only now and you go up and fight in a different weight class and no belt.
And I’m from 170 and he’s from 185 and we fight at 205? It makes sense?" Chimaev was even more confident when asked about the potential matchup with Pereira, stating, "In my career, first round, first minute.
Easy. No punch, nothing."
Adesanya's Shot at Pereira
Chimaev also shared his thoughts on a potential match between Israel Adesanya and Alex Pereira, saying, "I don’t think [he beats Adesanya]. If Israel trains just wrestling in this training camp, he will beat him easy.
That guy has zero wrestling." Chimaev went on to express his dislike for Adesanya, saying, "I don’t like that guy. And he has zero wrestling. Who’d they give him, who’s a wrestler in his career?" When asked about his own future plans, Chimaev hinted that the UFC might want him to fight in Abu Dhabi against either Leon Edwards or Alex Pereira, saying, "I don’t want to wait, but I feel they want to put me against somebody [in Abu Dhabi]. Maybe Pereira, maybe Leon, we will see. I feel like that, but I don’t know."