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Daily Mirror
Daily Mirror
Donagh Corby

Alex Pereira accuses Khamzat Chimaev of rejecting UFC fight at new weight

UFC middleweight champion Alex Pereira has accused Khamzat Chimaev of turning down a light-heavyweight fight with him in Brazil in January.

The 185lb title holder won his belt from Israel Adesanya at UFC 281 in New York City earlier this month after a gruelling cut to make the middleweight limit. And while he wasn't keen to make such a cut so soon after his five-round war with Adesanya, he was willing to allow Chimaev the chance to fight him with neither man making any sort of weight cut.

Pereira is one of the quickest fighters ever to win UFC gold, having had just eight MMA fights in his life and four in the UFC. And while he was willing to make a fast turnaround to fight for a fourth time within 12 months, he claims that Chimaev wasn't keen and opted against taking the fight.

“I went to my managers and 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 in Rio.’ Chimaev didn’t want it,” Pereira revealed during an episode of The MMA Hour. “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.”

Chimaev hit back at Pereira's suggestion, commenting on a clip of his story first by asking "Wtf" and then proceeding to explain that he has "Asked them about this fight in Brazil," and declaring that Pereira held a "fake belt", had a "fake coach" and was a "fake fighter.”

Alex Pereira says that Khamzat Chimaev turned down a January fight with him in Brazil (Zuffa LLC)

Who do you think would win; Alex Pereira or Khamzat Chimaev? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below!

The Swede is currently one of the top ranked welterweights in the world, but has serious trouble getting down to 170lb and has competed more comfortably at 185lb. And he has previously stated he would like to, later in his career, fight for a world title at 205lb, hoping to one day become a three-weight world champion.

Chimaev's last outing was in September when he made quick work of Kevin Holland amid a chaotic fight week where he missed weight by over half-a-stone. He had been due to face Nate Diaz, but was warned by doctors to stop cutting weight overnight and the bout with Holland was made at the last minute.

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