Magomed Ankalaev Vows To Knock Out Alex Pereira: 'His Chin is Gone'

July 1, 2024
Magomed Ankalaev claims he doesn’t need wrestling to dethrone UFC light heavyweight champ Alex Pereira.

Pereira stepped up on 11 days’ notice to save the UFC 303 card, putting his title on the line against Jiri Prochazka in the main event at the T-Mobile Arena on Saturday. “Poatan” almost knocked Prochazka out cold at the end of the first round before finishing him with a head kick at the beginning of the second round.

Ankalaev, who is the next expected title contender at 205 pounds, called out the champ immediately afterwards. An ace grappler, Ankalaev believes he doesn’t need his ground game to beat the former Glory Kickboxing champion.

“Congratulations champ, I’m very impressed but the boss [Dana White] always says this is the sport of opportunities and all I want is an opportunity,” Ankalaev wrote on social media. “And I don’t need wrestling, I have enough striking to test your chin. I believe I will knock you out.”

Unbeaten since suffering his lone pro defeat in his UFC debut in 2018, Ankalaev has always claimed that it has been hard for him to find top-tier opponents. While Ankalaev was finally offered a title shot against Pereira at UFC 300 in April, the Russian standout didn’t accept the fight because he was observing Ramadan. Pereira went on to defend his strap against Jamahal Hill via first-round KO in the main event at UFC 300. Ankalaev is now confident that he gets the next title shot, as he is not worried about Pereira avoiding a fight with him.

“All these guys in the Top 5 have been knocked out,” he wrote. “I’m the best light heavyweight on the planet. None of these guys are on my level, and now I get to fight the champion and I believe he is not that scared of me like other ones.”

While Pereira barely suffered a scratch in his UFC 303 win over Prochazka, Ankalaev saw something that tells him the Brazilian might be vulnerable.

“Guys believe me everyone, I will knock out [Alex Pereira]. I do not need to take him down, this guy his chin is gone but I know he is very dangerous.

Pereira’s rapid rise to stardom saw him win two UFC titles and make two successful defenses within less than three years. While Ankalaev believes Pereira might not have been ready for him a couple of years back, he admits they are the toughest matchup in the division for each other today.

“[Two] years ago Alex Pereira was not ready to fight with me, but I believe today he is the hardest fight in the division for me and I’m the hardest fight in the division for him.”

Meanwhile, Pereira replied “anybody” when asked about a potential clash against Ankalaev next. “Poatan” believes Ankalaev will no longer be considered the toughest matchup for him once he beats the Russian.

“I fought Blachowicz. He was the best guy. I beat him, now he’s not the best guy no more,” Pereira said in a backstage interview. “When I beat Ankalaev, they’re gonna say that’s he’s not the best guy no more.”


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