Carlos Barreto: Alex Pereira Would Have Speed Advantage vs. Magomed Ankalaev

July 3, 2024
After Alex Pereira’s knockout win against Jiri Prochazka at UFC 303, speculation quickly turned to the Brazilian’s next opponent — especially after the champion once again teased a move to heavyweight.

Oddsmakers recently released three possibilities: reigning heavyweight champ Jon Jones, interim heavyweight king Tom Aspinall and top light heavyweight contender Magomed Ankalaev. “Poatan” was initially listed as an underdog in all three potential fights.

UFC Fight Pass Brazil commentator Carlos Barreto recently gave his assessment on the Papo de Luta podcast.

"I have to agree with ‘Poatan’ being the underdog against Jones and Aspinall,” Barreto said. “In addition to being real threats to Poatan´s game, both are already scheduled to fight in their division. But concerning, Ankalaev I have to disagree.

“Definitely Ankalaev can be dangerous and bring different challenges to ‘Poatan’ with his grappling, but it's important to notice that he is not a finisher. He has zero submissions on his record. Also, he doesn't have Khabib [Nurmagomedov’s] game to drown opponents [with his wrestling].

“According to Glover [Teixeira] and many other grapplers who train with hi,m in addition to being hard to take ‘Poatan’ down, it's harder to keep him there. Also, ‘Poatan’ is faster than Ankalaev and a master in controlling the distance — something very difficult for Ankalaev to deal with. I believe speed would be a key point in that fight. As I said, I totally agree with the odds putting Jones and Aspinall as favorites against ‘Poatan,’ but not Ankalaev.” 


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