Alex Pereira punched his ticket to a 185-pound title shot by smashing and trashing No. 4-ranked middleweight Sean Strickland at the UFC 276 pay-per-view (PPV) event last weekend in Las Vegas, the same card that saw Israel Adesanya defend his division strap by outlasting former heavyweight Jared Cannonier.
Pereira vs. Cannonier feels like a no-brainer … or does it?
“I’m want to fight with this guy UFC,” Chimaev wrote on Twitter. “Dana White let’s make it.”
Chimaev’s followers were quick to remind him that Gilbert Burns — a former lightweight — was able to land 119 significant strikes against “Borz” in their UFC 273 showdown. Others were confident the No. 3-ranked welterweight, who holds two wins at 185 pounds, would take Pereira to the floor and submit him.
“Poatan” doesn’t sound too worried.
“I’m gonna keep the same line that I always do,” Pereira told Helen Yee. “See what’s in front of me, not what is ahead. Same with [the] Sean Strickland fight. People were talking about Israel’s fight and I said, ‘Look, I’ve got to take care of this first.’ Right now, I’m gonna take care of my fight with Israel for the title and then after that we’ll see about that. To be the champion, that’s my goal.”
Chimaev has his own goal in mind.
Namely, the welterweight title. It’s unknown yet if the promotion will make him fight another top contender like Colby Covington or seize the moment and elevate “Borz” into a 170-pound title fight opposite the winner of Kamaru Usman vs. Leon Edwards, who rematch atop the UFC 278 fight card next month in Salt Lake City.