Timothy JamesTimothy James
March 17, 2023

Alex Pereira says he offered a light heavyweight bout to Khamzat Chimaev, but Chimaev turned it down.

Alex Pereira thinks Khamzat Chimaev is shook – too scared for a fight at light heavyweight and too scared to risk losing at welterweight. Inside Fighting’s Tiimothy James caught up with Poatan in Rio de Janeiro ahead of UFC 283, where Pereira shared his opinions on Chimaev.

“I called him out for a light heavyweight fight,” Poatan stated. “But I wasn’t in a position to do it, either. I called him out anyway just to see. If he was up to it, I’d take this fight … I knew he didn’t want [the fight].”

It goes beyond just not wanting to fight Pereira at light heavyweight. Poatan thinks Khamzat isn’t willing to risk another fight at welterweight – which is why he thinks Chimaev is trying to make middleweight and light heavyweight fights.

“This is my point of view,” Pereira responded when asked about Chimaev moving up weight classes. “He doesn’t want to [take a fight at welterweight] because if he loses, like everyone can … it ends all the noise he’s making.”

“If he loses [at welterweight], what is he going to say at middleweight and light heavyweight? He won’t be able to say anything,” Poatan continued. “So he says, ‘I’m going to leave my weight class alone because if I lose, I’m screwed. If I go up to middleweight and lose, I’m still ok. I have [welterweight] and light heavyweight. If I lose at light heavyweight, I have the other weight classes. Get it?”

Pereira closed out his statement by saying Khamzat needs to find his inner fortitude – by taking a fight in his own weight class. “He’s running from his own weight class because he’s the next title challenger,” Poatan said. “If he has courage, if he’s a good fighter, he should fight in his weight class, a 3 round fight, not for the belt. But he could lose. And if he loses, it will be bad for him.”


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